"I was on my bed and I heard gunshots. And my heart raced,"
February 15, 2015 12:24 PM   Subscribe

2 Deadly Shootings Within Hours in Copenhagen; 5 Wounded [New York Times]
A shooting at a free speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and a second shooting hours later outside a synagogue left two dead and five police officers wounded in Copenhagen, stirring fears that another terror spree was underway in a European capital a month after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks.
posted by Fizz (236 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 




Yep. The guy was a member of local gangs, had just been released from jail a fortnight ago, had been involved in local arms deals and had stabbed a guy at a local station some years ago.

I have very mixed feelings about how the media narrative was set up from the get-go, how things were interpreted on the ground, the extent of the media coverage and what the probable aftermath in Danish politics will be. I know we had heated debates here during/after the Charlie Hebdo attacks - especially debates about the context in which to understand the attacks. As a Dane (though no longer living in Denmark), I'd like to see an implicit understanding that this incident also has a local context of its own and one which may/may not relevant to a wider global geopolitical situation.

Finally, one of my closest and dearest friends ran for his life last night in Copenhagen. I am very grateful that he's still with us.
posted by kariebookish at 12:38 PM on February 15, 2015 [32 favorites]


I have very mixed feelings about how the media narrative was set up from the get-go, how things were interpreted on the ground, the extent of the media coverage and what the probable aftermath in Danish politics will be.

I do not want to derail my own posting but I feel this same way about the Chapel Hill homicides: Parking Dispute Gone Wrong, Hate Crime—or Both?
posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


.

Such a ridiculous waste of life. Terrorism is so confusing.
posted by holybagel at 12:44 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the description of the background of the killer is correct, then this may be another case which ties in with Scott Atran's observations on the Madrid train bombers

two things struck me. First, all of those kids, none of them had a religious education to speak of. They all came into religion quite late. In fact, some of them right before the plots. And they were involved in Spain in petty criminal activities, drug trading. It's these guys who were killing themselves.

MS. TIPPETT: Hmm.

DR. ATRAN: Now, what that means is they're sacrificing the totality of their self-interests, which goes against all economic theory, and giving up their lives for an idea. Why? Because all of a sudden, they are telling themselves we really don't want to be criminals. We want to be somebody. We want to be something significant in this world and this is our chance.

posted by Flitcraft at 12:53 PM on February 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


An interesting essay by Kenan Malik on the way the cartoon "controversy" has been artificially sustained and, to a large extent, contrived: How to Become a Real Muslim
[originally printed in the Göteborgs-Posten in 2010, via BBC Watch]
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:54 PM on February 15, 2015 [33 favorites]


Joe, that is a fantastic essay. Malik really hits the spot. Everybody should read it.
posted by Thing at 1:17 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


When will this madness stop?
posted by sour cream at 1:31 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


from the start of the Malik essay:
In Ireland seven people are arrested over an alleged plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who had depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog in the newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. In Aarhus, a Somalian axeman tries to hack down Kurt Westergaard, the most controversial of the Jyllands-Posten cartoonists. In London, Faisal Yamani, a Saudi lawyer threatens to use Britain’s notorious libel law to sue ten Danish newspapers that published those cartoons in the name of all 95,000 ‘descendants of Mohammed’.


One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.

(No news reports about Faisal Islam's libel lawsuit threat after it was announced in March 2010; apparently it was an empty threat and didn't go anywhere)
posted by Bwithh at 1:31 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


so what everyone could plainly see was happening in cities across Western Europe is now obvious in Denmark. Countries where anti-Jewish violence hasn't been an issue within recent memory are now brimming with it, and little surprise that it's immigrants from countries that either have never had a Jewish population or that violently expelled theirs. And the worst part of all of this is that being honest about the source of this hatred gets one painted as a right-winger. Denmark, which saved it's Jewish population during WWII, invited a large immigrant population that hates Jews to settle there, and now it seems that no one knows how to resolve it. Did they think that the anti-Jewish beliefs were restricted to Israel? Or that those attitudes would get left behind?
posted by 1adam12 at 1:38 PM on February 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


here anti-Jewish violence hasn't been an issue within recent memory are now brimming with it,

cite please. Include statistics from reliable sources.
posted by lalochezia at 1:39 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, there's easily findable stuff like this from France's interior minister. The first line is "Anti-Semitic threats and incidents have more than doubled so far this year in France".
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on February 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


invited a large immigrant population that hates Jews to settle there

No, they did not.
posted by carter at 1:43 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is terrible.
I too recommend Joes' link. Very well written and Info packed with a thought out flowing time line.
posted by clavdivs at 1:54 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]



Well, there's easily findable stuff like this from France's interior minister. The first line is "Anti-Semitic threats and incidents have more than doubled so far this year in France".


Doubling a small number gives....a small number.

Seriously. We should keep in mind:

i) Terrible, spectacular events that have been perpetrated by these sociopathic assholes should not distract from the fact that the events are INCREDIBLY RARE
and
ii) the spectacular nature of these events are being used by extremists to further their agendas (see Joe in Australia's link as an example)
posted by lalochezia at 2:13 PM on February 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I don't think you're open to the idea that anti-semitic threats and incidents are not uncommon, really. What, if anything, would convince you otherwise?
posted by Justinian at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Muslims? Jews? In London, together - THEY FIGHT CRIME!
posted by Devonian at 2:19 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, there is actual data. I'll refrain from interpreting it for others, because I'm not sure what exactly counts as "uncommon", but this report on page 28 has the french data.
posted by smidgen at 2:23 PM on February 15, 2015


Joe's link was excellent but offers little guidance to persons who by virtue of their office/responsibilities/duty are required to manage the personal/public fear/threats associated with these events. The closing statement in the essay leaves on perplexed as to direction:There will always be extremists who attempt to murder cartoonists or firebomb newspaper offices. There is little we can do about them. What we can do is refuse to create a culture that emboldens such people by accepting their voices as somehow legitimate.. It seems to me, and I know this is not a particularly popular position, that the only persons who can authentically speak to this issue are other Muslim communities. I realize Muslim/Islam advocacy and rights organizations regularly denounce this but without a strong grassroots effort those statements do not assuage the fear. What a mess and what an unfortunate and unnecessary tragedy. I guess the one consistent strategy is to treat these as crimes and criminals but this is very very hard to do without being accused of profiling, religious insensitivity or outright discrimination.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:30 PM on February 15, 2015


When will this madness stop?

When we provide mental health services to those who need it, when we institute wholly secular government and judiciary, and when we permanently remove recidivist dirtbags from our society.

Nutters gonna nut, so we need to take mental healthcare seriously.

Religion is anathema to the modern mixed population state. We need our Western democracies to push religions back into their churches. It belongs no where else at all. Religious belief must no longer be held superior to the law. No exemptions for religion, no accommodation for religion, no religion except inside your home and church.

And people who prove themselves to be bad actors need to be kept out of regular society. We let too many violent, raping, murdering, terrorizing people back out to repeat their behavior. The rest of us do not deserve to have these scum inflicted on us time and again. Lock them up and don't let them go.

Of course, we will never do these things. So when will this madness stop?. Answer: never. We will always allow extremists to murder and terrorize our population. Because reasons. I'm sure you can read these reasons below, as people freak out over the solutions I just suggested.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:39 PM on February 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


I don't know. As a Jew, I don't think I could live in Denmark because there is too little multiculturalism, not too much. There's a small threat of antisemitic violence but a constant, real threat that the nice, liberal, non-antisemitic Danish people will outlaw vital bits of Jewish practice like circumcision or kosher slaughter. I'll take my chances with the occasional violent extremist, but I wouldn't want to live in a society where 3/4s of the population wanted to outlaw fundamental aspects of my identity.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:43 PM on February 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


From the Atran interview:
But you also have said, uncategorically, and I believe you’ve said this in testimony before congress that people in the end don’t kill for a cause, they kill and die for each other. That it’s those human bonds.
Perhaps that is not an attribute specific to Islamist radicalism:
Whayland Greene, a rifleman in the 32d Infantry Division, perhaps explained best the attitude of hte American combat soldier on the subject of survival. "Put into the situation that we and thousands of others were, survival for one's self was the first priority by far. The second priority was survival for the man next to you and the man next to him. So, right and wrong, love of country and pride in the unit . . . was a good bit behind."
The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II

And also, most importantly, for Dan Uzan, who was guarding the synagogue in Copenhagen:

.
posted by wuwei at 2:51 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Doubling a small number gives... a small number.

Well, no need to worry then. A small number of racially motivated attacks and murders is acceptable.
posted by Behemoth at 2:52 PM on February 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'd agree the religious redirection of random violence must stop, five fresh fish, well religion is like a penis.

We want a "light touch" that permanently undermines religions, like a good television series about a gay Imam's situation, not a repression that lets religions bubble back up.

We want "no exemptions [or] accommodation for religion" because nobody should need "exemptions [or] accommodation" for absurdity that's actually harmless.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:01 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here in Denmark, anti-Jewish violence is very, very rare, and the police are on alert at all times to prevent it. Which is why most of the people harmed by this common criminal were police officers, and Dan Uzan was a guard.

There are plenty things to do about this. I am quite proud of our police - they did a great job yesterday and during the last 24 hours, and they are still working hard. I imagine the only reason they were so long in finding the murderer was that while he was known to the police, he was not known as an islamist. From what one can find in the press, the police are very well informed about most radicals (both islamist, leftist and rightwing).

Apart from great police work, I know several people have been talking about the criminalization and radicalization of young men exactly like this guy for several years. They are saying that although one cannot apologize crimes like this one, one may prevent them by approaching troubled urban areas in a different way. Judging from my Facebook, this crime might be the start of a new agenda for preventing hate-crimes and gang-violence. I know for a fact that police leadership supports this (even though some individuals might be for just expelling all Muslims).

Now it seems like I am the apologist for my wonderful country, but, in my view most Danes are very, very narrow-minded and provincial, and they are not at all without fault in the cartoon crisis. To some extent, I agree with ArbitraryAndCapricious. Like Americans and Israelis, we Danes feel we are God's own people. And therefore we automatically believe that whatever we do is the best. Those of us who are Christian (not me) seem to find there is a direct link between our religion and our democracy. Maybe because it is taught that way in most public schools (which is exactly why my parents sent me to private school). I can imagine that being a Muslim in a public school in the area where the killer lived was not very conductive for planning a productive and happy life. In a school where maybe 60% of the students were Muslims, they most likely still taught that democracy=Christianity. Not that inclusive.

Jewish families bring their children to Jewish schools, atheist schools or even Catholic schools to avoid the conflation of religion and democracy which is built into the Danish public school system, and which must be incredibly offensive to people of other religions. I certainly find it very offensive, but I am an academic and I have had the means to move my children to other schools when/if I felt the state-church rhetoric was too much.
posted by mumimor at 3:07 PM on February 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


Doubling a small number gives....a small number.

Jews are a tiny minority. Attacks on them doubling may sound like a small number to you, but it is making the Jewish community feel unsafe in their own country, to the point where they have been emigrating in notably higher numbers.

I am uncomfortable with a level of numbers-parsing that to me sounds like saying that people should stop calling attention to the troubling increase in anti-semitic attacks - or even stop calling it troubling - because it helps further extremists' agendas. That sounds a lot like victim blaming to me.

If the new normal for terror attacks is hit a speech target, then kill some Jews, and the official response is to decry the attacks on free speech while downplaying the anti-semitic murders as random crazyperson violence, how is that not actively furthering the same extremist agenda that sees Jewish life as less valuable?
posted by Mchelly at 3:07 PM on February 15, 2015 [27 favorites]


That certainly looks like the new modus operandi to me. Hit your primary target and then try to find some Jews to murder. Doesn't matter which Jews, they're all targets.
posted by Justinian at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Another atrocity, another liberal call for a return to the good old days of abusive mental health treatment. What utter bullshit. The Danish will hopefully handle this as they must. I'd hate to see them follow the us down the deep, dark hole of ratfuckery, as is our tradition.
posted by metagnathous at 3:20 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


>> When will this madness stop?
>
> When we provide mental health services to those who need it

Highly socialized welfare state Denmark doesn't already do these things? Or do you mean "Even what highly socialized welfare state Denmark is doing isn't enough so everybody else can just despair and punt"?
posted by jfuller at 3:23 PM on February 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm not at all convinced (and am actually very skeptical) of the idea that politically motivated terrorism and spree killers like school shooters can both be lumped under the same "they need mental health access!" umbrella. They're not at all the same and have very different causes and etiologies. Better mental health access might well put a dent in the latter type of killings but it's not clear that it would do much for the former.
posted by Justinian at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Copenhagen attacks – the victims
Finn Nørgaard, 55, who was killed in the Copenhagen cafe attack, was a Danish film director, who directed and produced documentaries for Danish television including in 2004 Boomerang-drengen (“Boomerang Boy”) about an Australian boy’s dreams to become a world boomerang champion and in 2008 “Le Le” about Vietnamese immigrants in Denmark.

TV producer Thomas Bartels, who worked extensively with Nørgaard, told Norway’s VG newspaper he believed he was a random victim and had not made any documentaries that would have singled him out. Their last project together was about children whose parents were in prisons, he said.

He said Nørgaard was “a good man loved by his friends”, who was highly respected and very sociable.

Another friend, psychologist Majken Matzau, said he was “an absolutely incredible, warm-hearted and creative” man, who was dedicated and had made many special documentary films.

-

Dan Uzan, 37, who was killed in the subsequent synagogue attack, came from a family active in Copenhagen’s Jewish community. He attended a Jewish school and joined the community’s security efforts, taking part in patrols to protect Jewish institutions, from a young age.

At 6ft 9in, he was a talented basketball player and had played for Horsholm 79ers since 1996. In a statement the club described him as “a great player and a great personality”.

Uzan, whose father is reported to be Israeli and his mother Danish, took a degree in politics, lived in Israel for a while and learned to speak Hebrew fluently, according to the Associated Press.

He was described by Denmark’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jair Melchior, as an “irreplaceable” security guard protecting the city’s Jewish community. “He was a person who was always willing to help. An amazing, amazing guy.”
posted by rosswald at 3:28 PM on February 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


..
I have no words. We lived in Copenhagen for two years and loved our time there. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones yesterday and to the city as a whole.
posted by arcticseal at 3:40 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some answers: I think that in relative numbers, we have more incredibly rich people in Denmark than in the US. We are not socialists, at all. The current complaint is that even the socialist party isn't socialist (like Blair's Labour).

Our mental health care isn't what it should be. In all parts of the world, it is easier to get funding for somatic illness than for mental health issues. Still, there has just been a huge readjustment prioritizing mental health. And there is no way this guy would have been identified as a mental health care patient.

What he could have and should have been helped with was a exit strategy - how to get from gang membership to normal life. He should have been told there was a place for him in society, and he should have been educated to take that place. Heck, they sent "Danish" (meaning white) gang-members to university to get a real education - why didn't they send him?

I know an education is not always enough, and I know why. I see how Muslim (and Jewish, and Chinese) students are discriminated against in this country. But the first step must be to do whatever is possible to integrate young people into jobs and education. And then next, where I see the US is struggling with, to also respect everyone equally.
posted by mumimor at 3:42 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Religion is anathema to the modern mixed population state.

We want a "light touch" that permanently undermines religions

I would like to register my distress that, even after the events of the past few days, and in a thread about (in part) the senseless murder of people because of their religion, we have people here calling for the suppression of religion.

Religion isn't a threat, nor is religion in the public square a threat. Religion is colourful, joyful and interesting. Religion is, and the vast majority of religious people are, harmless and humane. Religion is progenitor of art, a spur to social justice, a comfort to the distressed and a bolster to the weak.

You know what is a threat? Intolerance of other people's personal, harmless beliefs and practices, whether those be religious or secular. People who for, whatever reason, have decided that they have access to the One True Truth and are willing to ban, suppress, 'undermine', the lifeways of their self-defined 'other': that idea is the threat.

It is terrible when religious people try to force their beliefs and values on other people. It's terrible when they try to do this using the law or the democratic process. It's even more terrible when they try to do this using force.

It is terrible, just as terrible, when people without a religion try to force religious people to abandon their practices or, more often, try to force them into the religious closet, where they cannot publicly acknowledge who they are. It is terrible when they try to do this by law. It is even more terrible when (as happened five days ago) they try to do this using murderous force.

Look, I'm not an idiot: I know that many terrible things are justified by appeal to religion. Indeed, unless you have a religion yourself, you probably never really notice religion unless it's being used as a stick to beat you. But, if you think about it for just a moment, you'll see that this is a classic sampling bias. You never notice most religious stuff, because it's not remarkable or obnoxious. Suppress it, though, and you've become exactly the same as the religious hypocrites who, if given the chance, would suppress secularism.
posted by Dreadnought at 4:07 PM on February 15, 2015 [38 favorites]


Suppress it, though, and you've become exactly the same as the religious hypocrites who, if given the chance, would suppress secularism.

Obviously religion shouldn't be suppressed. It looks like a negative force, on balance, from where I'm sitting. That doesn't mean I think religion should be suppressed.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:27 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Doubling a small number gives....a small number.

It's only a small figure when taken out of context. The report says
While Jews represent less than 1 per cent of the French population, 40% of racist violence perpetrated in France in 2013 targeted Jews.
The cited figures are really only the tip of the iceberg: attacks that are not reported to police are not included, and some of the incidents represent attacks on many people. For instance, last year's mass attack on a synagogue by some demonstrators counts as a single incident, even though there were thousands of demonstrators, tens (?) of attackers, and hundreds of Jews confined to the synagogue at the time.

In actuality the French Jewish community is scared: there is continuous security at Jewish institutions; and no less an authority than the Chief Rabbi warned Jews against wearing kipot/yarmulkes outside. France doesn't track emigrants by religion, but I think something like 1% of French Jews left for Israel last year; I expect a similar number left for other destinations. That's huge, especially since the people leaving will be predominantly young families, the basis of a future community. And as once you get a flow of emigrants it makes it easier for more emigrants, who now have friends and relatives welcoming their arrival.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:04 PM on February 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


Religion isn't a threat, nor is religion in the public square a threat. Religion is colourful, joyful and interesting. Religion is, and the vast majority of religious people are, harmless and humane. Religion is progenitor of art, a spur to social justice, a comfort to the distressed and a bolster to the weak.


Religion, to use the William James definition from the Varieties of Religious Experience, the sense that there is an unseen order to things, and that one must conform to it harmoniously.

That covers a lot of ground. Religion is not just a set of bromides we meditate on once a week before eating bagels. For various people, that sense of an unseen order of things calls for acts of violence. Refusing to tackle the issue head on is what causes things like this to keep happening.
posted by ocschwar at 5:11 PM on February 15, 2015


Religion, to use the William James definition from the Varieties of Religious Experience, the sense that there is an unseen order to things, and that one must conform to it harmoniously.

Feeling the unseen order of things is very different from the organized bodies of belief and practice that are obviously what's mostly meant by "religion" in this thread. How could hundreds of millions of people possibly feel the same unseen order of things? Identification with a religious tradition has more to do with much more mundane social and psychological factors than with mystical awareness of an unseen order of things.

People who are deeply attached to an appreciation for an unseen order that they came upon themselves, without suggestion or indoctrination, are not on that basis regarded as religious; if that attachment is deemed too deep, they are sometimes regarded as ill or degenerate, or some other epithet, depending on which cultural immune system they crash into.

My earlier complaint has to do with uncritical or total identification with any set traditions, even my own, and not specifically with religious traditions, though.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:21 PM on February 15, 2015



Feeling the unseen order of things is very different from the organized bodies of belief and practice that are obviously what's mostly meant by "religion" in this thread.


No, it isn't. If that unseen order means you should join a community, and obey its strictures, so be it. If it means deferring to others who have studied that unseen order more than you, so be it.
posted by ocschwar at 5:25 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Telling people that they shouldn't care too much about their identities in a thread about what may well be identity-motivated murders is not a productive rhetorical position, especially in light of recent conversations. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:27 PM on February 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


If that unseen order means you should join a community, and obey its strictures, so be it. If it means deferring to others who have studied that unseen order more than you, so be it.

That's not an "unseen order", though; that's the most obvious one. I don't buy that any kind of mystical experience is a necessary condition for adherence to the religious tradition in which one was raised.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:28 PM on February 15, 2015


"I believe that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is his messenger."

The cardinality of the set of gods is unseen.
Muhammad's appointment as spokesman for God is unseen.
The authenticity of whichever set of writings you choose to attribute to him, is unseen. (The Quran and the Hadith, the latter of which is taken a la carte).
Everything that flows from that is unseen.

No biggie. Lots of perceptions of an unseen order to things exist, and are not necessarily mystical, supernatural, et cetera.

But as said, these ideas range far beyond what you do Sunday morning, as do their implications. We can't afford to treat religion as an affectation. That kind of denial is what gives murderers like the guy in Copenhagen the safe space within which to act.
posted by ocschwar at 5:48 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I see. To me, "unseen order" connoted the kind of thing perceived during experiences that can be very broadly construed as mystical (which, in my understanding, is a class orthogonal to the class of culturally-mediated experiences like organized religion), but I see now that we're actually using a much more inclusive definition of "unseen order".

I certainly don't regard religion, or other tradition-based affiliations, as affectations: they obviously have the potential to be extremely serious.
posted by busted_crayons at 6:02 PM on February 15, 2015


So it's not okay to extrapolate that

Some Islamists are violent and destructive, therefore we must suppress all Muslims

but we're comfortable going with

Some Islamists are violent and destructive, therefore we must suppress all religion.

Seems logical.
posted by perhapsolutely at 6:09 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Where anti-Jewish violence hasn't been an issue within recent memory are now brimming with it,

cite please. Include statistics from reliable sources.


This was pretty upsetting. Obviously, there are plenty of citations above, but I find it extremely worrying that, after two attacks in a month where Jews were specifically sought out and killed, that there are many people willing to favorite a comment that states that "anti-Jewish violence isn't an issue."

Seriously, something really horrible is happening, as Jewish communities are repeatedly vandalized and attacked, and need armed guards, to prevent people from being slaughtered - no doubt this would have been a slaughter at a bat mitzvah if the guards weren't there. It seems insane and blind to insist otherwise.

Take a look at this article on ant-Jewish sentiment in Copenhagen in 2013.:
“The Israeli ambassador was misunderstood,” Danish journalist and television presenter Martin Krasnik told me when we met in Nørrebro last month. Avnon was offering common advice to Israelis visiting Europe, Krasnik explained, and wasn’t speaking specifically about Copenhagen, which he said has long been the European capital city most hospitable to Jews.

Krasnik is one of Denmark’s best-known journalists, a former foreign correspondent, author of acclaimed books about the United States and Islam, and host of a high-brow political chat show on Denmark’s influential state broadcaster. He is politically liberal—when we met, he waxed enthusiastic about Peter Beinart’s book The Crisis of Zionism—but speaks forthrightly of the problems of Muslim immigration. Anti-Semitism, he said, is endemic in immigrant neighborhoods. “It’s the same in London, it’s the same in Paris.” He is also a member of Denmark’s small Jewish community, estimated at between 7,000 and 8,000 people, though he isn’t particularly religious.

Last December, Krasnik decided to test Ambassador Avnon’s warning, wondering just what would happen to a kippah-wearing Jew walking up Nørrebrogade? If you think this experiment is reckless or brave—or both—then you already know the answer to Krasnik’s question....

...The threats were veiled, like thugs in a mafia protection racket. One of his anti-Semitic interlocutors explained that while “perhaps your religion tells you to wear this, it doesn’t tell you to get killed.” Another explained that the kippah was “not a problem for us, but my cousin killed a guy for wearing a ‘Jewish hat.’ ” Another demand was made for the “hat” to be removed. Krasnik refused—and beat a hasty retreat.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:15 PM on February 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


stirring fears that another terror spree was underway in a European capital

I find this sentence bizarre, as if its author were trying to rationalize the terrorist or diminish the act as an ordinary crime. You are "stirring fears" if there's nothing actually to be afraid about. When dad says to watch out for Sasquatch, he's stirring fears.

The terrorist was not stirring fears that another terror spree was underway. Because, you know, a terror spree was actually underway.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:21 PM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Last December, Krasnik decided to test Ambassador Avnon’s warning, wondering just what would happen to a kippah-wearing Jew walking up Nørrebrogade? If you think this experiment is reckless or brave—or both—then you already know the answer to Krasnik’s question....

Just finished watching a very similar video, which was quite upsetting: 10 Hours of Walking in Paris as a Jew - Feb 15, 2015
posted by rosswald at 6:26 PM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Kenan Malik essay, linked by Joe in Australia, is excellent.
For Western liberals have come to see figures like Abu Laban as the true, authentic voice of Islam. The Danish MP Nasser Khader tells of a conversation with Toger Seidenfaden, editor of Politiken, a left-wing newspaper highly critical of the caricatures. ‘He said to me that the cartoons insulted all Muslims’, Khader recalls. ‘I said I was not insulted. He said, “But you’re not a real Muslim”.’

In liberal eyes, in other words, to be a real Muslim is to find the cartoons offensive. Once Muslim authenticity is so defined, then only a figure such as Abu Laban can be seen as a true Muslim voice. The Danish cartoons, as Jytte Klausen observed, ‘have become not just a tool for extremism but also created a soap opera in the West about what Muslims “do” with respect to pictures'. Or, as Nasser Khader has put it, ‘What I find really offensive is that journalists and politicians see the fundamentalists as the real Muslims.’ The myths about the Danish cartoons – that all Muslims hated the cartoons and that it was a theological conflict – helped turn Abu Laban into an authentic voice of Islam. At the same time Abu Laban’s views seemed to confirm the myths about the Danish cartoons.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:03 PM on February 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


And people who prove themselves to be bad actors need to be kept out of regular society. We let too many violent, raping, murdering, terrorizing people back out to repeat their behavior. The rest of us do not deserve to have these scum inflicted on us time and again. Lock them up and don't let them go.

Most of these kids aren't religious up until they moment they decide their shit lives could amount to something bigger by picking up a gun. Shunning them from regular society is exactly why they are acting out, society already treats them as worthless outsiders. Your inability to understand that is just throwing fuel on the fire.
posted by bradbane at 7:29 PM on February 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


bradbane, exactly. It's a vicious cycle. Start it wherever you want, it's cyclic so there's no true beginning. The extremists act, and the bigots use that as an excuse to further bigotry and alienate and isolate the minority, the disaffected minority youth in turn becomes indoctornated into fanaticism and lashes out at the bigots, and as extremists they act, which causes the bigots to use that as an excuse to.......

I swear a lot of it is tied up with the economic crisis. There's nothing like an economic crisis to cause people to pull into whatever insular group they can, and to radicalize them once there. French people of North African ancestry are almost twice as likely to be unemployed, and that sort of economic hardship is a recipe for radicalization, and of course the majoritarian bigots use it as a talking point to bash the lazy and shiftless foreign Muslims.

And, of course Jews are the perennial targets of pogroms and bigotry all across Europe, but economic hardship also seems to amplify antisemitism.
posted by sotonohito at 7:45 PM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hundreds of Jewish Tombs damaged in Northern France. Another one of those vanishingly rare anti-semitic actions, occurring less than one day after the previous vanishingly rare action.
posted by Justinian at 7:50 PM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


[This is a really bad thread to bring up specific criticisms of Jewish religious practice; circumcision is such an epic derail that it's actually a site meme. Please don't. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 7:53 PM on February 15, 2015


Thanks for that link Joe, beautifully written.
posted by smoke at 12:46 AM on February 16, 2015


Doubling a small number gives....a small number.

The South didn't have to lynch many black people every year. Lynching was still effective.
posted by alasdair at 1:17 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


The terrorist was not stirring fears that another terror spree was underway. Because, you know, a terror spree was actually underway.

One incident is not a spree.
posted by Dysk at 1:34 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


So when will this madness stop?. Answer: never. We will always allow extremists to murder and terrorize our population. Because reasons.

It might stop when political solutions are found to the political problems that cause it.

I am old enough to remember (just) the 1970s in London, where I still live, but which is now covered in theatrical 'anti terror' concrete blocks. A quick Wikipedia check tells me:

In 1974 and 1975 London was subjected to a 14-month campaign by the Provisional IRA, including gun and bomb attacks. Some 40 bombs exploded in London, killing 35 people and injuring many more.


This included deadly bombs thrown through the windows of Scott's restaurant and it was also raked with bullets.

But suddenly in 2015 all of civilisation is under threat from barbarism blah.
posted by colie at 2:26 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Comparing the Troubles in the North with the issue of Islamic Terrorism is a serious stretch. The parties in the North shared a common history, common culture with real differences in religion (all Christian), class and political loyalties. The conflict was largely confined to the North with some in the UK--its viciousness and intractability was regularly driven by personal animosity, class grudges and economic dislocation and mutual antagonism. It was not taking place in Scotland, England, the USA, France, Africa, Indonesia Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. In the North the parties were mutually antagonistic but both parties shared some a substantial respect for women, other parties and to some extent Church authority. The decentralized nature of Islamic leadership makes this very very difficult.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:06 AM on February 16, 2015


You can call them the 'troubles in the North' now but in the tabloid newspapers at the time it was just a matter of murdering terrorist scum. The difference with now was that educated people tended not to take this line.

The terrorism certainly was taking place in England as well, such as the Birmingham pub bombing that killed 21.
posted by colie at 3:20 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I find this last entry on the Wikipedia page re: this issue particularly troubling--It is a cut and paste so i do not know the context but it is not does not appear to be a generous or sensitive response:
"The Scandinavian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir in a press release did not condemn the attacks, but said the Danish politicians, among others, were to blame: "Danish politicians and opinion-formers hold no moral authority to designate neither Muslims nor Islam as violent, when you consider how much blood they have on their hands. [...] We, as a Muslim community should under no circumstances succumb to pressure and accept the premise that Islam is on trial."
posted by rmhsinc at 3:30 AM on February 16, 2015


Context, quick Google translate which I've cleaned up a little:

"Some (politicians , ed.) will require that Muslims must denounce the attacks. Others will more slyly advocate that not all Muslims are extreme, but they are part of the Danish community, as long as they are in favour of secularism and freedom of expression. Both reactions are essentially the same purpose. Muslims must be forced to secularise, and every Muslim who refuses, and instead insists on Islamic values ​​and laws will be considered as a potential security threat"

The statement, when it talks about Danish politicians bearing some responsibility for this, clarifies that it is as much about their "hateful rhetoric", tightening of security laws/infringements on civil liberties, and casting Muslims as inherently suspicious or threatening and creating a context and atmosphere which "creates hate, threats, violent attacks, and in the extreme, death, regardless of who the victims are".

Also, that wiki translation/excerpt leaves out a subtle but important clause - akin to "incidentally" or "and by the way" - which marks out that passage as an aside tacked onto the end of a statement, and not the main thrust of the statement.

The statement which ends:

"Thoughts/ideas are challenged with thoughts/ideas so we Muslims should continue to carry with us the Islamic thoughts/ideas and challenge the West's false values ​​and inhumane policy."
posted by Dysk at 3:56 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, not that I think the statement is all roses and light, but damn if the wiki excerpt isn't carefully selected, and the translation massaged to give the worst possible impression.
posted by Dysk at 3:57 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jewish joke about anti-Semitism:

A newlywed woman invites her father to dinner. During the meal the couple have an argument and the husband reaches out and slaps his wife. Her father stands up, and he hits her too. The husband is mystified.
"What are you doing?"
"You hit my daughter," the father explains, "I hit your wife."
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:06 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's a weird analogy, colie, because what ever the tabloids might have said, the IRA had a leadership structure, a political wing, and some ability and willingness to enforce discipline within its ranks, although that has always been a problem for them. There was also a real sense among people in Northern Ireland, including the working-class, Catholic young people who would have made up their typical recruits, that they could have real economic opportunity if the violence stopped, which I think is one of the main things that made the mid-'90s different from earlier years. I don't even know who you would negotiate with who would have the ability to call off disaffected kids in Paris and Copenhagen, and I'm not sure that you can credibly tell those kids that if they don't fall for this shit, they can have opportunities for a good job and a secure future.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:07 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dysk--Thanks for the work--what continues to trouble me is that I really do not know who can authoritatively deligitimize these "Islamic terrorists" except other Muslims. And I can read the words but I also do not fully understand this sentiment"as long as they are in favour of secularism and freedom of expression. Both reactions are essentially the same purpose. Muslims must be forced to secularise, and every Muslim who refuses, and instead insists on Islamic values ​​and laws will be considered as a potential security threat. I realize this is overly simplistic: but how is it not rational to think that to insist on values antithetical to the common culture and adherence to religious and not secular laws is a continuing set up for suspicion and mistrust.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:21 AM on February 16, 2015


I take the point that there are plenty of differences between terrorism now and in the past, and with the advent of drone strikes it's not really possible for terror groups to organise their cells in the old way. You just get wiped out with no trial or anything, and that's standard now. Although Al Qaeda is apparently now negotiated with by the west as a matter of course, and it used to be said that that was impossible.

I don't even know who you would negotiate with who would have the ability to call off disaffected kids in Paris and Copenhagen,

It has been established that the French killers were very much motivated by videos from the middle east of porno-torture in Abu Ghraib and US pilots laughing at 'bug splat' (among hundreds of others). The really easy start point to call off the disaffected kids would be to stop invading those countries and murdering every damn person you see with the world's biggest military machine.
posted by colie at 4:26 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I realize this is overly simplistic: but how is it not rational to think that to insist on values antithetical to the common culture and adherence to religious and not secular laws is a continuing set up for suspicion and mistrust.

This is the key to the problem in the West. Liberal universalism insists that all individuals--not groups--have the same rights and freedoms. You can choose to religiously restrict those rights for yourself but not for others, and your rights are based on your individual worth not membership of a group. Calling for any* law to be put above that of the secular state and imposed on others is a problem. The article I linked to right at the very beginning of this thread is the kind of mixed up thinking that happens too often, when the writer says: "But this is a moment when everyone will need to step back from their principles and show more of the pragmatism for which Denmark is also famous."

How do you step back from the principles of liberal universalism without the whole thing crumbling? There isn't a middle, pragmatic ground where a little bit of religious law can be imposed on a little bit of the population. And as, almost certainly, most people would stand against imposition of religious law on everybody, then you must oppose even the slightest on anybody.

*Whatever the content of sharia law, it's the non-state source which is the problem, much like Christians who seek to restrict abortion based on their beliefs.
posted by Thing at 4:47 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


As for a very-specific-to-Denmark context, I hope to see far less casual racism (on Saturday night a friend of a friend attended "Denmark's Got Talent" and a random contestant was told he "looked like a Muslim but not a dangerous one, ha ha" - very mainstream humour) and less support of The Danish People's Party who has done untold harm in the way Danes perceive themselves and how "Danishness" is defined.

We'll see.
posted by kariebookish at 5:05 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


That covers a lot of ground. Religion is not just a set of bromides we meditate on once a week before eating bagels. For various people, that sense of an unseen order of things calls for acts of violence. Refusing to tackle the issue head on is what causes things like this to keep happening.

It strikes me that the "issue" in question is the violence itself rather than the excuses other people come up with for causing it.

I mean, in Chapel Hill, the gunman's motivation has been alternately put forward as either "he was an anti-theist" or "it was a dispute over a parking place". Would you also call for "dealing" with secularism or cars as a result?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:17 AM on February 16, 2015


You know what is a threat? Intolerance of other people's personal, harmless beliefs and practices, whether those be religious or secular.

But is it OK to be intolerant toward intolerance?
posted by sour cream at 5:41 AM on February 16, 2015


what continues to trouble me is that I really do not know who can authoritatively deligitimize these "Islamic terrorists" except other Muslims.

A generous reading of the statement would be that the complaint is largely based around the way this is overly simplistic - to hold all Muslims as a cohesive bloc where a large group of people totally unconnected to the attacks are being viewed as linked in being asked to apologise for or condemn the attacks specifically. In being asked to distance themselves from the killer, they are being cognitively placed with them - why else ask them specifically for the denunciation? It's a reaction against the racism that leads us to ask all Muslims to denounce Islamic terror, but not all Christians to denounce Christian terror.
posted by Dysk at 5:47 AM on February 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


When Christians kill abortion doctors or LBGTQ people, I damn well do expect the leaders of extreme Christian movements to denounce those attacks, or else be considered enablers and supporters of them.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:42 AM on February 16, 2015


Religion isn't a threat, nor is religion in the public square a threat. Religion is colourful, joyful and interesting. Religion is, and the vast majority of religious people are, harmless and humane. Religion is progenitor of art, a spur to social justice, a comfort to the distressed and a bolster to the weak.

Tell that to homosexuals. Tell that to women in need of abortion. Tell that to cartoonists. Tell that to Zappa. Tell that to teenagers in sex ed class. Tell it to Dawkins. To people that want to build a mosque in a Midwest town. Tell that to kiddies fucked by priests. To the Piss Christ artist. Tell that to religious minorities most anywhere. Tell that to secularists seeking government office.

Religion is at the root of a metric ton of our problems. It is desperately far from harmless and humane. Religion is a huge threat to our safety and our rights. Fuck religions: they're the cause of problems, not the solution.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:54 AM on February 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Religion is at the root of a metric ton of our problems. It is desperately far from harmless and humane. Religion is a huge threat to our safety and our rights. Fuck religions: they're the cause of problems, not the solution.

The guy who shot those people in Chapel Hill was an atheist.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on February 16, 2015


And before anyone has a shit-fit - I do not actually believe that atheism made him commit murder.

Just like I also don't believe that "religion is at the root" of violence either; hatred and intolerance is at the root of this metric ton of our problems.

Blaming religion is itself intolerant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


There's just something bizarre about going off on an anti-religion tirade to pretend that you defend the right of religious minorities. I'm a member of a religious minority, and when you trash religion, you're trashing me. It's especially fucking ugly in a thread about, among other things, someone who was murdered while defending a place of worship.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:23 AM on February 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


If Christian extremists were killing lgbt people or abortion doctors at the rate Muslim extremists kil nonmuslims we would absolutely be talking about the role of Christianity in violence. That those examples were given already is evidence.
posted by rr at 8:30 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


...rr, can you explain what's behind what you just said? I'm thinking of about five different points you could be trying to make, and frankly, none of them are attractive.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:36 AM on February 16, 2015


But is it OK to be intolerant toward intolerance?

Yes. Indeed, you cannot tolerate intolerance. People get confused on this point because we use positive and negative versions of the same word to describe what people are doing: tolerance and intolerance. This makes things a muddle because it looks like a paradox where you cannot tolerate intolerance without being intolerant, which itself cannot be tolerated.

Here's a better way to phrase it:
1. Everybody has the right to choose (speech, religion, whatever) for themselves (within their capability, such as age or disability).
2. You do not have the right to choose such things for others and destroy the right given in 1.
3. Stopping somebody from doing 2 is not stopping the same person from 1. Indeed, by stopping an example of 2 we are shielding the rights of another in 1.

Being "intolerant of intolerance" increases the sum total of rights in society while destroying no rights whatsoever. This is basic, introductory chapter stuff.
posted by Thing at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


lalochezia: i) Terrible, spectacular events that have been perpetrated by these sociopathic assholes should not distract from the fact that the events are INCREDIBLY RARE
Hebdo attacks: January 7, 2015.
Copenhagen attacks: February 15, 2015.

True, it's only happened twice this entire century... but I think it's more honest to say it's happened twice in 40 days. You have to be fairly jaded to call that "incredibly rare."
posted by IAmBroom at 8:50 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


metagnathous: Another atrocity, another liberal call for a return to the good old days of abusive mental health treatment.
No one suggested we return to outdated medical practices.

Another conservative misrepresentation of simple, obvious facts: mental health care tends to help the mentally ill.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mohammed Merah, Mehdi Nemmouche, Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene, and now Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein all seem to have killed Jews in Europe due to radical-Islamic beliefs.
posted by rosswald at 8:58 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


mumimor: they are not at all without fault in the cartoon crisis.
How are the Danes at fault in the cartoon crisis? You seem to be stating that they "brought it on themselves" and therefore deserved it to some degree.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:00 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


IAmBroom, there is a whole lot of context here and I'll let mumimor unpack most of it herself as she's far more eloquent on the topic.

There is a local political context that goes back to a Danish party that called itself The Progress Party that swept into the Parliament in the early 1970s. The Progress Party turned into The Danish People's Party via various internal power struggles. The Danish People's Party rapidly gained traction in the late 1990s and today polls around 30% (more than that where I grew up). The success of DPP's rhetoric (anti-immigration, real Danes eat pork, a headscarf is the same as a swastika, Muslims are on a lower rung of civilisation, you are not Danish just because you were born in Denmark) led to media attention.

There is another context which harder to explain succinctly. The big schism in Danish self-perception and public discourse can be explained as a fight between 19th century writer (and Jew, incidentally) Georg Brandes and the Lutheran preacher Kaj Munk who was shot by the Nazis during WW2. The two men represent very different takes on what it means to be Danish. Brandes brought "kultur-radikalisme" to Denmark - broadly speaking liberalism, modernity, and anti-authority. Munk was against "kultur-radikalisme" and sided with the theological movement Tidehverv. It is a national-conservative movement which underpins The Danish People's Party (though I dare say many of its voters are unaware of this).

I grew up in a Denmark very much influenced by Brandes and his kultur-radikalisme (I also think it's the Denmark many foreigners imagine: liberal, equal opportunity, left-wing), but since the late 1990s the public discourse has pulled increasingly to the other side of the divide. Several leading cultural critics have expressed a desire to return to a pre-Enlightenment world and see multi-culturalism as a threat. Several newspapers come down hard on the side of this - particularly Jyllands-Posten and BT (the latter is pretty much just a DPP mouth-piece now) but also the commercial channel TV2 and its news channel. Add to that mix, professional public opinion makers who had been professional intelligensia rebels during the late 1960s and onwards (Karen Jespersen and her husband Ralf Pittelkow spring to mind) who were only too happy to stir the pot. I'm making a quick estimate here but from around 2003 and onwards, public discourse has been increasingly hostile towards multi-culturalism with only a handful of public opinion makers speaking up against it (Carsten Jensen is one of the few people that spring to mind - he has a great article in today's Politiken - an article that actually makes the same point as mumimor)

And that is when the whole thing cracked open and has not left. As I said, there is a whole lotta context here and I am not sure I've succeeded in explaining it very well.
posted by kariebookish at 9:39 AM on February 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


kariebookish: IAmBroom, there is a whole lot of context here and I'll let mumimor unpack most of it herself as she's far more eloquent on the topic.
Thank you. There was a whole lot of context here... for people who understood it. Posting on an international forum (where Danes are a tiny minority), 'Well, they are not without fault" is fairly context-free to most of us, and (obviously) open to misinterpretation.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:05 PM on February 16, 2015


Dysk well, I have no idea what "Islamic values" might mean, and I doubt you could get any two Muslims to agree on a single set of "Islamic values".

But I absolutely see people seeking Islamic law as a threat. Unlike the very vague term "Islamic values", we know exactly what is meant by Islamic law. We see it in Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and the areas ISIS dominates. Islamic law is utterly incompatible with the very concept of freedom and is a direct and personal threat to me.

Christian law would be just as bad, and as an American it's Christian law I fear the most since Muslims are a tiny minority in the USA and Christians are the dominant force here.

So yes, I can very much sympathize with people in Denmark who see those advocating for Islamic law as a threat. **ANY** religious law is a threat. Buddhist law, Hindu law, I don't care what religion, any religious law is something 100% opposed to and see it as a threat to my very existence.

Anyone who wants religious law is seeking to harm me and is my implacable enemy.
posted by sotonohito at 2:42 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know what the solution to the current problem is, but I do know that religious law of any sort is absolutely not it. And I know that anyone advocating for religious law is trying to make the current problems worse.
posted by sotonohito at 2:46 PM on February 16, 2015


Thanks, kariebookish. And my apologies to all for being a bit telegrammatic. Obviously, this is a big deal in Denmark, and I am spending a lot of my time following news and social media.

Please ask if you have any questions, I'll try to answer as fast as my day-job permits

There are some very interesting derails in this thread, and while right now I am mostly preoccupied with our local situation, there was very recently an article in a Danish paper about the French Jews. (No links, not in Danish nor in English. It's the last stubborn analogue publication). According to this article, France has the largest percentage of Jews in the world after Israel and the US, and it seems that there is a very well-functioning integration. BUT - the special thing is that a lot of pre-WW2 Jews were killed during holocaust and most of this large population are actually immigrants from la francophonie Meaning that they are not just Jews, but immigrant Jews, more like in Israel than in Denmark. Compared to Danish Jews, more French Jews are Conservative, and have zionist political views.
Danish Jews are to a large extent people with at least 100 years of history in Denmark, and for some, 4-500 years. Almost all Danish Jews were saved from the Holocaust, even the small group who got sent to Therisienstadt. This is obviously a wonderful thing, but it also means that Danish Jews are totally integrated in Danish society. While xenophobia is a normal and frustrating part of daily life here, anti-semitism on a personal level is not.

That said - in my personal experience, one gets the same really surprising relevations with antisemitism as with feminism here. You think women are treated on an even level, but no, not really. And you think everyone acknowledges Jews, and then you meet really close friends who have almost nazi-like points of view. Anti-Jewish sentiment is not at all limited to Muslims here.

The important thing is, however, that from the state point of view, every individual Jewish person will receive all necessary protection at all situations. And if you call people on their racism in a polite way, they will hear you out and consider the argument. People here are not normally racist, but they are often un-educated. And they get scared if they are attacked and don't understand why.

To be honest, it is sometimes a little frustrating that Americans conflate very different parts of Europe. What happens in Frankfurt has little implications in Barcelona. You guys know that there is a huge difference between Minnesota and California, but sometimes you post as if your experience at a military base in Düsseldorf is a qualification for judging whatever happens in Athens. I know a lot of Europeans imagine Sarah Palin is the Governor of New Jersey and that is equally stupid, but please think of it in those terms. Most Americans seem to think Europe=Germany + Prague + Paris.
I know a lot of mefites see it differently - so please be our ambassadors: explain to people you know how Europe is every bit as diverse as the US.
posted by mumimor at 3:51 PM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]




While xenophobia is a normal and frustrating part of daily life [in Denmark], anti-semitism on a personal level is not.

You simply can't make statements like that without backing them up. I understand that anti-Semitism is less of a problem in Denmark than Sweden and Norway, but Danish Jews actually do report severe, life-affecting anti-Semitism that affects them on a daily basis.

Jewish parents are warned against sending their kids to public schools and "Copenhagen’s only Jewish day school has to be protected by gates, barbed wire, and security cameras". Martin Krasnik, a Danish TV journalist, tried wearing a yarmulke/kipah while walking through Nørrebro. He was lucky not to have been beaten up.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:31 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I went through your links I noticed that the fear was strongly linked with Muslim communities, is that an accurate read on what you meant to communicate about antisemitism in Denmark?
posted by Drinky Die at 6:10 PM on February 16, 2015


They were just the first substantive links from a Google search. I don't know whether anyone has attempted to distinguish between Muslim- and non-Muslim anti-Semitism in Denmark, or if such a distinction is useful or meaningful. If it's being ignored and/or tolerated by Danish society as a whole then the problem is a general one, even if the overt acts are mostly carried out by an identifiable Danish minority.

One problem with talking about anti-Semitism (and often other forms of discrimination) is that a certain amount of it gets taken for granted; it seems normal; it gets ignored. I presume that the Danish reporter was aware that the Jewish day school was surrounded by barbed wire and security cameras; he just didn't register that these security measures were an expression of profound concern on the part of the parents and school administration; that (on a communal level) Danish Jews do not feel safe. I think the lesson "Jews in Denmark are safe as long as they don't look Jewish, or at least keep out of Muslim areas" would be the wrong one to draw from the journalist's excursion, but nevertheless: the fact that Danish Jews can't assume that they are safe is a Danish problem.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:04 PM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


So are there many attacks on Islamic places and Muslims in Denmark? On ethnic Danes ? Other minorities?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:31 PM on February 16, 2015


I have no idea and I don't know where you're trying to go with this. Would it make any difference, no matter what the answer is?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:57 PM on February 16, 2015


Well, who most precisely are they defending themselves from with the barbed wire?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:54 PM on February 16, 2015


Trying to go with this? Nice, hello to you, too.

We have some Danes here willing to spill the beans. I'd like to know some more.

I don't think you're Danish and you apparently don't have an answer. Thanks for your contribution anyway, I guess.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:56 PM on February 16, 2015


Your forgetting history. Even a schmuck like me can this, you.

One of the miracles of the Nazi occupations/ invasions was the Danes. They created laws, and really told the nazis "there is no problem".
Quite an amazing piece of history.
posted by clavdivs at 11:27 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die asked: Well, who most precisely are they defending themselves from with the barbed wire?

That's a weird question. They're not defending themselves from a "who"; they're defending themselves from a "what": an assault on the school, as other Jewish institutions have been attacked throughout Europe and the world.

If you mean "who would they most expect to assault the school", I suppose (given recent events) the answer would be some jihadist wannabe? But it's not like barbed wire does racial profiling or anything, or as if there weren't plenty of non-Muslim Jew-haters.

I'm getting the impression that you and Five Fresh Fish feel insulted by the fact that Danish Jews feel under siege: you want to find some racist intent in it, and he wants some acknowledgement that non-Jews can also be oppressed. I suppose it's possible that Danish Jews are racist, although I have literally no reason to think so; and I certainly wouldn't deny that other people in Denmark are oppressed. In the context of anti-Semitism, though (which is what I was addressing and which is directly relevant to this FPP), those concerns look like distancing measures.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:34 PM on February 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


On 22 November 2013, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein stabbed a random stranger in a Copenhagen metro train. The 19-year old victim was in immediate danger of bleeding to death, but was rushed to hospital and survived.

(Before the ensuing trial, el-Hussein was psychologically evaluated and given a clean bill of health, so fff's mental health derail seems like, well, a derail here.)

On 14 February 2015, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein had upgraded his arsenal from a butterfly knife to a military rifle, and shot dead two random strangers.

The reason given for the first crime was basically that his cannabis use had made him paranoid. Nothing to see here, move along.

The reason given for the second crime was ... something something jihad something. 30,000 people show up with candles lit.

I fail at being properly terrorized, I guess. Can somebody explain to me how this is supposed to work? It seems radical Islam has quite the grip on a large number of people, most of whom are not Muslim.
posted by brokkr at 1:30 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


The reason given for the first crime was basically that his cannabis use had made him paranoid. Nothing to see here, move along.

The reason given for the second crime was ... something something jihad something. 30,000 people show up with candles lit.


Bingo. And the 24/7 news cycle continues and finally has something (besides combined harvesters and local flooding) to discuss with all the professional public opinion makers.
posted by kariebookish at 1:55 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tell that to homosexuals.

As a religious queer person (daughter of a Danish village vicar, no less) I'll have you not dehumanise me by using have as a noun, and wow are you off base by suggesting that homophobia and religion are inextricably linked. We're talking about fucking Denmark here, and Danish Christianity generally had different values and occupies a very different place in society to Christianity in the anglophone world. Grind your axe elsewhere, please.
posted by Dysk at 2:55 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


But I absolutely see people seeking Islamic law as a threat. Unlike the very vague term "Islamic values", we know exactly what is meant by Islamic law. We see it in Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and the areas ISIS dominates. Islamic law is utterly incompatible with the very concept of freedom and is a direct and personal threat to me.

Christian law would be just as bad, and as an American it's Christian law I fear the most since Muslims are a tiny minority in the USA and Christians are the dominant force here.


As a Dane, I come from a country where we do have Christian law! We just don't have American Christianity. And you're taking a very very particular tack if you're suggesting that Saudi and ISIS are the only possible expression of Islamic law - Indonesia, Malaysia, pre-1970s-revolution-Iran, etc. Religion is not the two-dimensional bugbear you seem to think it is and have experience with.
posted by Dysk at 3:04 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dysk: any religious law automatically excludes me and is by definition hostile towards me. You also might want to look into the actual consiquences of Islamic law in the nations you cite. Indonesia, for example, isn't exactly what you'd call a stellar example of anything as illustrated in this interview.

And, of course, in Indonesia if you are born into a Muslim family you are subject to Islamic law and can't leave. Apostasy is punishable by law there.

It's Saudi Arabia lite, and I can't comprehend how you could possibly advocate for it or believe that forcing Islamic law on people anywhere is a good idea.

Moreover, it's a form of oppression against Muslims. It is a way of taking one particular vision of Islam and forcing it on all people who identify as Muslim regardless of whether they agree with that vision or not. It literally criminalizes religious disputes. Want to be a Muslim who believes that alcohol isn't so bad? Fuck you, the law forbids that.
posted by sotonohito at 4:20 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Joe in Australia. I don't think your random google links are very interesting documentation, for several reasons. The most important being that the Israeli government is running a very tasteless campaign using the terror-attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in order to "fish" Jews from France and Denmark.

That said, I already wrote there is anti-semitism in Denmark. I am no denying it at all. I am just telling you that the Danish government takes this very seriously and is on constant high alert in order to protect Jewish institutions and individuals. A few Jews who are very scared want even more visible protection. However, the protection in place is negotiated with the Jewish leadership on a running basis and adjusted according to the threat level as determined by the police. Most of us, including the Jewish leadership, have confidence in the police here. Because we are society built on trust. But also because Danish police are extremely good at keeping a close eye on potential terrorists. The reason they caught this guy so fast was that from the moment they had identified him, they knew where he was.

The whole story about Jews not being able to walk freely in Nørrebro is a media-stunt, orchestrated by the Israeli government at a time when they (again) were fishing for immigrants because of the cartoon crisis. I live in Nørrebro. Because part of my family is Jewish, my children have clearly identifiable Jewish names. In the ground floor of my apartment building is a shop where many Palestinian refugees hang out on a daily basis. My girls are always treated like princesses by these guys, and all the other shop-owners on our street (mostly Arabs) and it is not because these people don't know.
At one time the uncle of the shop-owners in the ground floor, an imam, was in the hospital sharing a ward with my grandfather. My grandfather was gracious and offered the uncle sweets and conversation. But the old man refused to even say hello and asked his family to ignore my grandfather. While he was sick, I didn't comment. But when he came out, I went to him on the street and asked him why he was so impolite and such a bad example for his family. He went on about Jews and Israel and bla bla. I asked him, while his then young nephews were listening, wether I could then blame him for the Saudi government, or Saddam Hussein, or Assad? Since then the younger parts of the family have been unfailingly friendly and we are regularly given small gifts. One year, when a lovely Iraqi family lived in our building, we were invited to Eid.

Many Jews, also practicing Jews, live in Nørrebro by choice - it is a nice, multicultural area. It is easy to walk to the synagogue from here and close to the Jewish school and the main kosher store. During community work, I have talked with some of them about these experiences and they all agree what I have experienced is the norm. What is not the norm is when a well-known TV journalist tries actively to provoke a reaction by going directly to confirmed gang-members and asking them about their opinions on Jews. Gang-members are pr definition uneducated idiots, not exactly representative of the general population. (But even they just asked him to leave, politely).

Actually, I thought it is very typical of Denmark that you can walk up to a prominent gang-member (knowing who he is) on his home turf and have polite conversation with him. I have talked with the same guy once or twice, at our summer flea-market.
Denmark is the country where even gangsters are trusting and friendly - when they aren't at work.

The story about Rådmandsgade school is also media-driven. When we had a conservative government, this school-leader was much beloved by media and government because she claimed to have solved the problems marring schools in poor urban areas across the Western world. Obviously, she was lying. Not only Jewish families, but any sane family wanting their children to get a primary education should avoid that school like a disease. Sone of my friends really tried, and even involved themselves in the school board. It is from them I know that the woman would say anything to get herself in the news. Rådmandsgade is the school-district were the murderer belongs, I don't remember if he actually went there. But when he was supposed to have gone there, there was open drug-dealing and kids brought knives to school. He grew up in a very rough environment, not because of Islam, but because of poverty, drugs and gangs.

I am not seeing many Jews here moving away from Denmark, neither to Israel nor to the US. What I am seeing here is a lot of Jews giving up religion and marrying gentiles or Muslims, like my grandparents on both sides did. Because the reality here is that Jews are very integrated, even assimilated, and the fears they may have or not have are the same as all Danes' fears.
posted by mumimor at 4:42 AM on February 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Dysk: any religious law automatically excludes me and is by definition hostile towards me.

How?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:42 AM on February 17, 2015


Well, who most precisely are they defending themselves from with the barbed wire?

People who when they have a grievance decide the best way to let off steam is to shoot up a Jewish school.

Are you honestly trying to turn an account of self-protection (more than that - protecting children) into an aggressive act?

I'll just leave this here:

1 2 3 4 5

My son's school in New York City has security guards, multiple locked doors and often a visible police presence after major violent anti-Semitic incidents. This is not because of the Israeli government. It is not because of Islamophobia. It is because anti-semitic assholes have collectively decided that Jewish kids are a fair target.

Using this attack as a convenient way to segue into attacking the Israeli government is a noxious derail. This attack had nothing to do with Netanyahu. It was attack on Jews at a synagogue. Which would likely have been more bloody had there not been security guards and police. If you are trying to say that the religious Jewish community in Denmark doesn't feel threatened, then why were the guards and police there in the first place?

Mumimor, I agree - assimilated Jews and unaffiliated Jews and Jews who choose through intermarriage or atheism or Danish nationalism to no longer be Jewish probably do not feel threatened. They're certainly not being targeted in any way because they aren't identifiable as Jewish targets. Is your point that most right-thinking Jews don't feel threatened because they've already eliminated themselves from the Jewish locations being targeted? That the solution to ending anti-semitic violence in Europe is for all Jews to similarly disappear?

This is the image that has haunted me since I became a mom. I don't give a fuck about agendas or who's holding the gun. I want my kid to be safe. And I don't accept that the price of that safety is to not be allowed to practice Judaism.
posted by Mchelly at 5:08 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


And by "not to be allowed" I don't mean some because of some strawman anti-semitic government edict that no one is suggesting. i mean because of the why was he wearing that yarmulka in that neighborhood "common-sense" argument that the best way to protect victims from violence is to keep them from acting so victim-y.
posted by Mchelly at 5:13 AM on February 17, 2015


It's Saudi Arabia lite, and I can't comprehend how you could possibly advocate for it or believe that forcing Islamic law on people anywhere is a good idea.

I... didn't? I pointed out that you were painting an unrepresentatively extreme picture of what Islamic law means.
posted by Dysk at 5:32 AM on February 17, 2015


Using this attack as a convenient way to segue into attacking the Israeli government is a noxious derail. This attack had nothing to do with Netanyahu.

In Germany, two Palestinian Germans were convicted of throwing molotov cocktails at a synagogue, and the judge claimed that it wasn't anti-semitic, because obviously arson of a synagogue in small city in Germany is about Israel. Students in Durban asked for all Jews to be expelled, whatever their nationality. In Austria, posting a picture of Hitler with the statement “I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them...” is just anti-Israel and not anti-semitic, said the prosecutor's office.

Attacks on Jews outside of Israel aren't attacks on Israeli policies, they're anti-semitic attacks.
posted by jeather at 5:46 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos religious law automatically excludes me because I'm not part of the religion (whatever it is) so I automatically don't have a seat at the table when the law is being discussed and decided on. I can't help shape Islamic law, or Christian law, or Hindu law, or Buddhist law, or [insert religion here] law because I'm not part of any religion.

It's hostile towards me because while I have absolutely no voice in deciding what the law is, it will be enforced on me. They will use the power of the state to impose their religion on me, and if that isn't hostile I don't know what is.

So I say that religious law automatically excludes me and is hostile towards me. Any and all religious law is an attack on me.

If we're talking about "law" in the not-really-law sense of Jewish dietary "law" or whatever that's a different matter, but that's not the context of this discussion. The person Dysk linked to was most upset that people would consider Muslims trying to impose Islamic law in Denmark to be hostile or a threat. There are currently 13 nations that have laws mandating that I be executed, and they want to add Denmark to the list. I'm not a Dane, so the threat isn't really direct, but it's still a threat.

Oh, and Dysk, the list of nations where I'd be executed simply for being an atheist includes Malaysia. Another of those places you told me wasn't so bad. Indonesia, which "isn't so bad" requires you to be officially a member of one of the officially recognized religions. You literally cannot opt out of religion in Indonesia.

Any religious law is bad, hostile, and a threat. Yes, there are degrees of badness. Israel isn't as bad as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia isn't as bad as Iran. But they're all horrible, evil, attacks on the very concept of freedom and liberty as well as me personally. So yes, I disagree in the strongest possible terms with the person you linked to who was outraged that people would consider those advocating for Islamic law to be a threat.

People advocating for Islamic law are a threat. People advocating for any religious law are a threat. Here in San Antonio, I see John Hagee as a threat. He's advocating for Christian law and, as an American, I'm a lot more worried about Christian law than I am Islamic law.
posted by sotonohito at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we're talking about "law" in the not-really-law sense of Jewish dietary "law" or whatever that's a different matter, but that's not the context of this discussion. The person Dysk linked to was most upset that people would consider Muslims trying to impose Islamic law in Denmark to be hostile or a threat.

Umm... that's not the impression I get from reading the statement, actually. It strikes me as much more analogous to kosher laws, the context in which it's presented: "Muslimerne skal tvangssekulariseres, og enhver muslim, der nægter, og i stedet insisterer på de islamiske værdier og love, vil blive betragtet som en potentiel sikkerhedstrussel"

"Muslims are to be forcibly secularised, and any Muslim that resists, that instead insists on Islamic values and laws, will be viewed as a threat and potential security threat".

That really sounds to me (especially pre-translation) as an appeal to be allowed to continue to be religious, to live according to their religious practice.
posted by Dysk at 6:19 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are we really so devoted to ideology over observation that it's unacceptable to say that the majority of violent expressions of anti-Semitism in Europe are coming from Muslims? You will never produce useful analysis if you're unwilling to read data.

The majority of Muslims are not violent. Many Muslims are not anti-Semites. Many non-Muslim Europeans are anti-Semites.

But many Muslims are anti-Semites. And nearly all the recent violent attacks on Jews have been committed by self-identified Muslims.

You can argue about how accurate their self-identification is, though that's problematic. You can question whether Jews' fear of anti-Semitic violence is disproportionate. That, too, is problematic, but overreacting to terrorist violence is something communities do; the USA certainly did. But these violent attacks are being committed by self-identified Muslims, and therefore any attempt to prevent future violence is going to target self-identified Muslims. It should not target every Muslim---that's much too broad to be useful, not to mention unjust. But young, male, self-identified Muslims with criminal backgrounds and recent ideological conversions are who commits anti-Semitic violence, and carping about hidden motives won't change that.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:33 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia: "I suppose it's possible that Danish Jews are racist, although I have literally no reason to think so"
Most Danes are pretty racist by US standards. I see no reason to believe Danish Jews would be significantly different.
posted by brokkr at 6:54 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I may have missed it in this thread, but: where can I read some firsthand experiences of those Danish Jews who do not feel safe? I feel like we're getting some good context in this thread, but I want to hear from them.

[Hizb ut-Tahrir's response] strikes me as much more analogous to kosher laws, the context in which it's presented: "Muslimerne skal tvangssekulariseres, og enhver muslim, der nægter, og i stedet insisterer på de islamiske værdier og love, vil blive betragtet som en potentiel sikkerhedstrussel"

I am flummoxed by the idea that this situation is in any way comparable to kosher laws. When was the last time that any self-identified Jew committed murder over kosher laws?

There is a lot to be said for a Muslim group not feeling obligated to apologize for the actions of a lone nutter, or a mere extremist slice. However, explicitly putting the blame on Danish officials, especially from a daffy-looking group which avowedly seeks a global caliphate, is an entirely different stance, and not an admirable one.

The selective use of anodyne phrasing means nothing to me. Many groups opposed to same sex marriage will trumpet mere "religious freedom" and "family values", but nobody is naive enough to believe that the issue is really only about those issues as literally written, in a manner which is not intended to affect the rights of other people. Indeed, in the fuller quote, the press release demeans both "secularisation" and "freedom of expression" - they avowedly, unapologetically oppose that aspect of freedom of expression which would protect the rights of others to make Mohammed cartoons. Is there a prominent Jewish group which is categorically opposed to the right of others to enjoy non-Kosher food?

I mean, I'm not quaking in my boots over "Islamofascists" or whatever the crypto-neocons are faffing about this week, but there's no reason to zoom too far in the other direction, either.

...

The idea that Jews feeling unsafe in France is just a recent thing whipped up by Israel is pretty rich. For decades, relative to the rest of Western Europe, France has had a reputation for anti-Semitism. That's why so many of them leave. My family has had stories for a very long time, and they were never particularly interested in Israel.

Whether Netanyahu's interest in promoting Israel at the expense of France is purely cynical, or whether it comes from his own personal feeling that he is doing right, is another issue.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:02 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


But also because Danish police are extremely good at keeping a close eye on potential terrorists. The reason they caught this guy so fast was that from the moment they had identified him, they knew where he was.
posted by mumimor


Perhaps you will just dismiss it as 'Israeli propaganda' (ugh), but it seems the Danish security services could have done better - Denmark's domestic intelligence agency (PET) says it had been warned by prison officials about the man who killed two people in a shootout in Copenhagen.

-

where can I read some firsthand experiences of those Danish Jews who do not feel safe?
posted by Sticherbeast


I posted a link above to BBC video which has an interview with a member of the community.
posted by rosswald at 7:20 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another point that occurred to me as I was watching BBC News coverage. They've had Helle Merethe Brix as a recurrent interviewee over the last few days. A bit of context to Brix and the cartoons:

Brix is a member of the board of Trykkefrihedsselskabet which translates as "International Free Press Society". It is led by Lars Hedegaard who is an erstwhile member of the Danish People's Party. I mainly know him for the quote "Muslims rape their own children. It is heard of all the time. Girls in Muslim families are raped by their uncles, their cousins or their fathers." He was charged with hate speech but was acquitted. International associates with Trykkefrihedsselskabet include Geert Wilders, Jihad Watch and Gates of Vienna. In Denmark, Trykkefrihedsselskabet gets a fair amount of media attention - especially from BT which I mentioned upthread.

We haven't mentioned him much, really, which is odd in a thread about terrorist attacks in Scandinavia, but Anders Breivik sent his manifesto to several people associated closely with Trykkefrihedsselskabet. Just to give you an idea of the flavour of the whole thing. And BBC gave no context to who Brix was. They probably only knew she was present at Krudttønden.
posted by kariebookish at 7:22 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


….Is your point that most right-thinking Jews don't feel threatened because they've already eliminated themselves from the Jewish locations being targeted? That the solution to ending anti-semitic violence in Europe is for all Jews to similarly disappear?

No, it is not my point at all, and I wonder if you actually read what I wrote?

One very important point I tried to make is that you cannot extrapolate whatever happens in New York or Paris and imagine that you now understand what happens in Copenhagen. Denmark is a completely different place.

To be honest, I am feeling uncomfortable about those of you who are posting links to events in France, the US, Germany or Austria as arguments in a discussion about a shooting episode in Denmark.

A dear former colleague who is a very prominent, activist member of the Jewish community here lived a few hundred meters from me. I can assure you that she has never been afraid of living or walking or talking in Nørrebro.

Everyone in Denmark, Jews and non-Jews alike, worry about terror-attacks on Jewish institutions, and the state and society as a whole prioritizes safety for Denmark's Jewish population very highly. We are well-aware that the dangerous anti-semites are primarily of Palestinian descent, and heck, the police probably knows every single potential terrorist and/or violent gang member +/- 5 (last time they gave an estimate their number was so incredibly accurate, it became a joke among my friends). We are that small a country, and the group of people who are criminals is that small.

Since we are an open democracy, people are not imprisoned before they have committed a crime, and we don't lock them up forever unless they are murderers, so we do have known criminals walking the streets. So sometimes dreadful things will happen, even here. But the attack on the synagogue was stopped by the brave guard, who lost his life, and by equally brave normal Danish police officers who were wounded. And yesterday huge gatherings of Danes in all the large towns and cities held vigils to grieve the losses.

What I also wrote was that some Jews are so afraid that they feel a need for more visible security. Not all Jews, at all. Not my colleague who lived close to me.
I had a friend who was in that group of very scared people, and in my view, his understanding of the world was skewed by that fear. As a journalist, or as an Israeli ambassador, it is not hard to find people like this friend of mine, who will make claims that are completely unsubstantiated.

Denmark is one of the safest places in the world. Both because it is a society built on trust, and because we have a very high level of security, which is discreet, because we like it discreet. My paranoid friend seemed to feel that visible automatic weapons everywhere would be safer. In that, most Danes, including most Danish Jews, disagree.

On preview, Sticherbeast, I agree that French Jews have reason to be more afraid of anti-Semitic terror, and if I gave any other impression, I was not being accurate. I am sorry that the article I was referring to is not linkable.
But a lot of the stuff you read in the international press is generated from claims from the Israeli government. Only a tiny fragment of the French Jewish population want to move, in spite of the real risk there. The French government tried to disinvite Netanyahu from the march in Paris because they found his activity to be in bad taste. So it is not like it is me, or some random journalist inventing stuff.
posted by mumimor at 7:22 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


One very important point I tried to make is that you cannot extrapolate whatever happens in New York or Paris and imagine that you now understand what happens in Copenhagen. Denmark is a completely different place.

Agreed. I am trying to give as much context as I possibly can to make that clear. I think it's difficult to understand the cultural differences between, say, Barcelona and Paris or Amsterdam and Copenhagen, but they are there and they are big. Heck, there are vast cultural differences between Sweden and Denmark - and we are brethren countries.
posted by kariebookish at 7:30 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


religious law automatically excludes me because I'm not part of the religion (whatever it is) so I automatically don't have a seat at the table when the law is being discussed and decided on. I can't help shape Islamic law, or Christian law, or Hindu law, or Buddhist law, or [insert religion here] law because I'm not part of any religion.

How are you defining "religious law"? The UK has state-sanctioned religion, and thus it's arguably a "religious law", but people can still vote on things.

It's hostile towards me because while I have absolutely no voice in deciding what the law is, it will be enforced on me. They will use the power of the state to impose their religion on me, and if that isn't hostile I don't know what is.

In what way are you referring to a religion being "forced" upon you? If you're talking about things like compulsory worship, it is only in a handful of nations where such things happen anyway - and Indonesia is not one of them - and if you're talking about the other end of the extreme and are talking about things like your taxes being used to support church business, well -in this Democracy, part of my own taxes go towards things like schools and roads, even though I'm childless and don't drive. Am I being oppressed by a state as a result?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2015


I'm getting the impression that you and Five Fresh Fish feel insulted by the fact that Danish Jews feel under siege

Your impression is erroneous and you are rude.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:33 AM on February 17, 2015


Sticherbeast: "I may have missed it in this thread, but: where can I read some firsthand experiences of those Danish Jews who do not feel safe? I feel like we're getting some good context in this thread, but I want to hear from them."
There's a nice op-ed here (by the mother of my former boss, I think - because Denmark is a small country). Don't know how far Google Translate will take you, though.
posted by brokkr at 7:40 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


More news about the alleged (not that there's any doubt at this point) shooter, Omar al-Hussein: He was a former gang member, but had been excluded from his gang (known as "Brothers"). The same organisation has publicly disavowed him and his actions. One theory is that his fall into militant Islamism was triggered by this exclusion from the gang.
posted by bouvin at 7:40 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


it seems the Danish security services could have done better - Denmark's domestic intelligence agency (PET) says it had been warned by prison officials about the man who killed two people in a shootout in Copenhagen.

Yes, they had been warned and yes, they knew he could be dangerous. When they reply that they have not seen him planning any activity, it is because they were following him and had not observed anything suspicious. Not because they didn't heed the warning.

Again (and again) we are living under the highest level of alert here in Denmark. The police are doing their job.

Regarding Lars Vilks' claim that he was unprotected, that is just a big fat lie. He is an old man, who was formerly an internationally renowned artist, and I suspect that now he is missing the attention and the drama he experienced as a young, experimental artist. When the shooting happened he was immediately whisked away by his personal security detail, provided by the Danish State to a Swedish citizen who continuously tries to provoke events like the one Saturday. (As the Danish State should, we need to protect free speech, even for idiots)

BTW: Perhaps you will just dismiss it as 'Israeli propaganda' (ugh)
I strongly support the nation of Israel, but I strongly disagree with the notion that criticizing the Israeli government is off. The Israeli government is by any measure on the far right of anything I will ever support, regardless of where in the world this resides. I have written above that part of my family is Jewish. It is very offensive to indicate that I am an anti-semite in the way you have just done. Please stick to arguments, not insinuations or personal attacks
posted by mumimor at 7:44 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


brokkr, that is a very nice op-ed. But it isn't really an answer to Sticherbeast's question, because while she starts by describing her feelings of fear, she ends up with a message of tolerance and openness - including that Jewish children should visit Muslim schools and vice-versa. Not very fearful in my view - but very realistic and poetic at the same time.
posted by mumimor at 7:49 AM on February 17, 2015


I know, it's the most fearful I could find.
posted by brokkr at 7:54 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


What I also wrote was that some Jews are so afraid that they feel a need for more visible security. Not all Jews, at all. Not my colleague who lived close to me.
I had a friend who was in that group of very scared people, and in my view, his understanding of the world was skewed by that fear. As a journalist, or as an Israeli ambassador, it is not hard to find people like this friend of mine, who will make claims that are completely unsubstantiated.


Thank you for the thoughtful response, but I'm afraid that I'm still a bit confused. You handily dismiss your friend's concerns as being "completely unsubstantiated", but upthread you had said:
That said - in my personal experience, one gets the same really surprising relevations with antisemitism as with feminism here. You think women are treated on an even level, but no, not really. And you think everyone acknowledges Jews, and then you meet really close friends who have almost nazi-like points of view. Anti-Jewish sentiment is not at all limited to Muslims here.
I can't reconcile these remarks.

They seem irreconcilable in an especially ironic way, because I feel like we would be on the same page when it comes to realizing that women are, to make an understatement, generally better-informed than men when it comes to the subject of how women are treated in their own society.

Of course there will be Danish Jews with some overblown, racist, etc. fears, but it does not follow that their anxiety is completely unsubstantiated.

On preview, Sticherbeast, I agree that French Jews have reason to be more afraid of anti-Semitic terror, and if I gave any other impression, I was not being accurate. I am sorry that the article I was referring to is not linkable.
But a lot of the stuff you read in the international press is generated from claims from the Israeli government. Only a tiny fragment of the French Jewish population want to move, in spite of the real risk there. The French government tried to disinvite Netanyahu from the march in Paris because they found his activity to be in bad taste. So it is not like it is me, or some random journalist inventing stuff.


I have no affection for Netanyahu either, but that's neither here nor there.

I'm having a hard time accepting the idea that the reported concerns of French Jews can all be so handily dismissed as being secret Israeli propaganda.

BTW: Perhaps you will just dismiss it as 'Israeli propaganda' (ugh)
I strongly support the nation of Israel, but I strongly disagree with the notion that criticizing the Israeli government is off.


You are not responding to what was written. No one in this thread was talking about criticism of Israel as being off-limits - that's a non sequitur.

No, the issue pertains to automatically dismissing reported evidence of anti-Semitism as mere Israeli propaganda. Do you have proof that the BBC was just secretly passing along Israeli propaganda with that report?

brokkr, that is a very nice op-ed. But it isn't really an answer to Sticherbeast's question, because while she starts by describing her feelings of fear, she ends up with a message of tolerance and openness - including that Jewish children should visit Muslim schools and vice-versa. Not very fearful in my view - but very realistic and poetic at the same time.

No, that article was a perfectly good answer to my question. She is both fearful and hopeful. My understanding is that she views the fences, etc. as a "necessity", but she also views intercultural dialog and tolerance as necessities as well, etc. etc. etc. Most of the community come to her aid, but other parts of the community make her feel hurt and afraid.

My thing is that her hope comes as a result of the fear she feels, as she looks for solutions. It appears that her proposed solutions are all positive. However, dismissing her fears as "completely unsubstantiated" would be both disrespectful and wrong.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:59 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The whole story about Jews not being able to walk freely in Nørrebro is a media-stunt, orchestrated by the Israeli government
posted by mumimor


Michael Moynihan's piece for Tablet mag. was an Israeli stunt? Do you have a cite?
posted by rosswald at 8:00 AM on February 17, 2015


EmpressCallipygos I'm defining it as laws imposed for religious reasons or to force certain religiously mandated practices on the population as a whole.

As an insignificant example, the Blue Laws that once existed in the USA and of which some remnants still exist, are what I'd call "religious laws". They were passed for no reason save that Christians think of Sunday as being magic, they exist only because of religion. In Texas there's still some remnants left, for example you can't buy hard liquor at all on Sunday and beer and wine are prohibited for sale before noon. Obviously that's trivial compared to other religious laws.

On the non-trivial side in the USA, we see the various anti-abortion laws, which are purely a matter of religion and have no other reason for existence. Or for that matter, bans on same sex marriage or same sex adoption.

I'd like to see the UK abandon it's official state religion, though the way they have gone about having one makes it less onerous than it otherwise might be it is still an intolerable imposition of religion on government.

Secularism, that is government neither favoring nor oppressing religion, is my goal. So from that standpoint, again, the whine from the person Dysk linked is something I oppose. I do want to see Muslims "secularized" in that they abandon all ambitions to politicize Islam and simply practice it themselves and keep it away from the government.

So no, I'm not just talking about compulsory worship, but also compulsory membership (which Indonesia features, you are forbidden from being atheist there and must official be part of an authorized religion), and any and all laws which are passed for religious reasons. I'm opposed to Prayer Breakfasts, and National Days of Prayer, and all that stuff.

Religion over here, government over there, no mixing at all. That's the goal. Anything less is intolerable.

Comparing government funded religion to government funded roads seems nonsensical to me.
posted by sotonohito at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Religion over here, government over there, no mixing at all. That's the goal. Anything less is intolerable.

Interesting choice of words there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on February 17, 2015


I am flummoxed by the idea that this situation is in any way comparable to kosher laws. When was the last time that any self-identified Jew committed murder over kosher laws?

I wasn't saying it was comparable in that sense, I was saying in context the word 'law' was being used to refer to religious dictats on its followers, not actual legal frameworks, using the analogy that had been used upthread to dismiss that very view (based on something other than reading the actual statement under discussion as far as I can tell).
posted by Dysk at 8:10 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Religion over here, government over there, no mixing at all. That's the goal. Anything less is intolerable.

Don't come to Denmark, then. State church and all over here. Vicars are civil servants, handle some of the state's bureaucracy in rural areas in particular (name changes and such), and get state pensions.
posted by Dysk at 8:12 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wasn't saying it was comparable in that sense, I was saying in context the word 'law' was being used to refer to religious dictats on its followers, not actual legal frameworks, using the analogy that had been used upthread to dismiss that very view (based on something other than reading the actual statement under discussion as far as I can tell).

I'm sorry, but that still doesn't work. Hizb ut-Tahrir's position on "freedom of expression" applies to non-believers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 AM on February 17, 2015


Empress Yes, it's so funny. How dare I refuse to tolerate people who want to murder me. Those stupid liberals pretending to be tolerant but they won't tolerate us forcing them to live under our religious dictates, that totally proves that they're really not tolerant.

No, I'm not tolerant of religious people seeking to impose religious law. If you believe that makes me a bad person then so be it.

Dysk Yup, I'm aware of Denmark's laws. They're bad and should be changed, and are being changed. State religions are one step away from Inquisitions or the The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

Denmark, thankfully like a lot of European places with state religions, features an ever shrinking state religion that seems to be more of an historic relic than an actual state religion. I'd be surprised if the Church of England survives another 50 years before being disestablished, and likely the same will happen in Denmark.

Religious law either grows or shrinks, it never stays static. Right now in the UK and Denmark religion in law is shrinking, were I a citizen of either place I'd be working frantically to get the religion fully excised from the law before the pendulum shifts again and you wind up with the Danish Inquisition.
posted by sotonohito at 8:20 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The whole story about Jews not being able to walk freely in Nørrebro is a media-stunt, orchestrated by the Israeli government
posted by mumimor

Michael Moynihan's piece for Tablet mag. was an Israeli stunt? Do you have a cite?
posted by rosswald


My apologies - it was a Michael Moynihan Tablet article Joe linked, but the original story was by Dane Martin Krasnik. Still not sure how either is "a media-stunt, orchestrated by the Israeli government."
posted by rosswald at 8:25 AM on February 17, 2015


>Religion over here, government over there, no mixing at all. That's the goal. Anything less is intolerable.

Interesting choice of words there.


Perfectly sensible wording: we can not tolerate the mixing of religion and political/judicial rule.

Edit: well, not if we wish to have a peaceful, multicultural, equitable, and tolerant society.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 AM on February 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Denmark, thankfully like a lot of European places with state religions, features an ever shrinking state religion that seems to be more of an historic relic than an actual state religion.

Roughly 80% membership of the state religion - which involves paying additional income tax - is hardly a historic relic.

You're in a thread about a terrorist attack in Denmark that left two people dead. Maybe tone down the "all religion is evil and Denmark is a half step from the Spanish Inquisition" bullshit, aye?
posted by Dysk at 8:32 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


sotonohito, do you have any actual idea about state religion in Denmark? Or are you just, as it would seem to me, spouting generic bullshit?
posted by brokkr at 8:44 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's so funny. How dare I refuse to tolerate people who want to murder me.

Dude, when I asked you to define what you meant by religious law, all you could come up with were blue laws and the attempts to pass abortion restrictions. So unless you're a bottle of Heineken or a fetus, your talk of "people who want to murder you" is coming across as either paranoia or anti-religious bigotry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on February 17, 2015


And moreover - in most European countries, most often the religious/secular legal conflicts are over things like Muslim women not being permitted to wear hijab in offices or Jewish boys not being allowed to wear yamulkes to school or things like that; it's nothing like the bizarre sort of pseudo-medieval picture you're painting.

I agree with you that being compelled to practice or support a religion is a bad thing, but there vanishingly few places in the world where this is even close to being the case, so you've actually ended up siding with the governments who prevent a woman from being able to voluntarily dress the way she wants in public, and that's just as shitty a thing in the other direction. And the fuel behind your fervor is coming from your America-centricism, where the political scene is actually fueled more by voter apathy and ignorance than it is by religious diktat.

So campaign against "religious law" if you like, but a) first make sure you know what you're talking about, and b) make sure you know what it's like where you're talking about, or else you're going to come across as being just as much of an oppressor as the people you're claiming to side against.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 AM on February 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Empress, the idea that I'm an oppressor of any sort, much less as bad as the people we're talking about here seems absurd on the face of things. Until I've shot people who mock atheism I don't see how we can possibly claim I'm "as much of an oppressor as the people [I'm] claiming to side against". Since, you know, we're here talking about people who just went out and shot people for mocking Islam.

As for religion and bigotry, I'll be bluntly honest and that's probably a bad idea from a winning arguments standpoint.

I'd be in favor of banning all religions and religious practices if it weren't for the fact that I know that such bans perversely make religion stronger and also produce results even worse than tolerating the existence of religion does. If it weren't for that I'd favor banning every religion that exists and banning their every practice.

I am fully, completely, no holds barred, anti-religious. It is my consideration that there is no benefit to religion, and immeasurable harm from religion. I think religion is inherently harmful, evil, and dangerous and I support any and all efforts that may help reduce the power and influence of religion until it withers and dies on the vine. The day religion vanishes is the day I will cheer and be happy. I don't care what the religion is, whether it be ancient or modern, I loathe and despise it and wish nothing but ill on the religion and hope it dies out quickly as its followers come to their senses and realize that they've been deceived and lied to their whole lives. Anything effective I can do to accelerate that process I will do.

So yes, if you wish you may call me an anti-religious bigot. I will wear that as a mark of pride.

As for religious law, I gave plenty of other examples, you chose to ignore them in order to present my position as laughable, this seems to be to be arguing in something less than (heh) good faith. And in your effort to mock me by willfully and deliberately misconstruing my argument you're going against your own liberalism and prior stated positions. IIRC you are pro-choice, I'd be very surprised if outside the context of mocking me you didn't see the (religiously motivated) anti-abortion laws as being oppressive. Why embrace hypocrisy simply because you don't like that I'm not agreeing with you that religion is a wonderful fuzzy wuzzy thing that would never cause any harm?

Religious law is currently strongest in Muslim nations, but it's been plenty strong in Christian nations in the recent past and I don't think it is at all irrational or foolhardy to fear a new wave of Christian religious law in the USA and Europe, especially since there are powerful political forces advocating for just that. In the USA there are people sitting on the US Supreme Court, elected as Senators or Congresspeople, not to mention a whole slew of lesser officials, who openly and unapologeticly advocate for religious based law. I can think, off the top of my head, of at least one case here in the USA where a judge denied both custody and all visitation rights to a woman because she was an atheist and he didn't like that. Yet you think religion is harmless and I shouldn't fear religious law and religious power?

And in many parts of the world religious law holds true power and is unimaginably awful. There are 13 nations where, if I were a citizen there, I would be executed simply for being an atheist. Yet you're sitting here mocking me for thinking that religious law might be worrisome? Right this second Raif Badawi is sitting in jail in Saudi Arabia, waiting for the next round of government mandated torture to be implemented as part of his punishment for starting a web site where people can simply **TALK** about religion. And you think I'm the bad guy for failing to realize how wonderful religion is?

We're looking, right here in this thread, at men who shot and killed others for no reason but aggrieved religious beliefs. And you are here mocking me for worrying that such people exist and seek power? They exist, and they seek power. What do you think they're doing by shooting people if not seeking power?

You know damn well that if the Pat Robertsons, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis of the world gained power you'd be greatly harmed and possibly killed. Yet you seem to think that me, for saying mean things about religion, is a greater threat? WTF?
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're doing a pretty good job of alienating this abolish-the-Danish-state-church-and-monarchy liberal atheist, sotonohito. I'm still waiting for an answer on whether you have any direct knowledge of religion in Denmark, or if you're just here to spout shit?
We're looking, right here in this thread, at men who shot and killed others for no reason but aggrieved religious beliefs.
You may be looking at that. I and plenty of others think it may be slightly more complex.
posted by brokkr at 11:48 AM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pat Robertson represents a branch of Christianity utterly unlike the Christianity of Denmark. That it's being raised here, in this context, is a laughable non-sequitur. Christianity in Denmark is not at all tied up with ideas of virtue and vice like it is in the anglophone world. Your experiences do not generalise like that.
posted by Dysk at 11:48 AM on February 17, 2015


If we all agree that we've registered the fact that you really, really, really don't like religion, will you stop talking about it, sotonohito? Because really, we get it. We truly, truly get it. You really, really, really don't like religion. You truly, truly think it's evil. We understand! You don't have to explain it again and again and again!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'll shut up, shouldn't be derailing anyway.
posted by sotonohito at 12:05 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know damn well that if the Pat Robertsons, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis of the world gained power you'd be greatly harmed and possibly killed. Yet you seem to think that me, for saying mean things about religion, is a greater threat? WTF?

I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth. I did not accuse you of being a greater threat than the possibility of Pat Robertson gaining power. I only said that the possibility of Pat Robertson gaining power is much, much smaller than your fears suggest.

About the only thing I would believe it made sense to accuse you of, actually, is the hypocrisy of decrying Pat Robertson's totalitarian mindset - while exercising it yourself in support of secularism. If his methods are so abhorrent, why use them?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on February 17, 2015


Denmark’s Jewish Radio Station Shuts Down
On the advice of the country’s security officials, Radio Shalom goes off the air
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:58 PM on February 17, 2015


Everyone, I'll try again.
I realize that the reason some of the things I write are hard to understand is that I am writing from a Danish perspective, and Denmark is a more strange and different country than you might imagine if your primary reference is films and TV-series. Kariebookish is better than me at explaining it because they have more of an outsiders perspective.

It is possible for Danes to be profoundly anti-semitic and yet not cause fear, because they are not threatening.
You can easily (as a Dane) believe Jews are Jesus-murdering usurers without any intent to kill any Jews. You just don't respect them. Or listen to them. And you are maybe a little scared they might poison your food somehow. But you know you are not allowed to discriminate or harm Jews, so you don't. Danes are people who wait for the green light in a traffic crossing at 4AM in a provincial town with no police, and no traffic at all. If consensus is you don't cross, you don't cross. If consensus is you do not harm Jews, you do not harm Jews.

Right now consensus is that one needs to mock and intimidate Muslims. There was literally a well-known author on facebook who claimed that if one refused to mock Muslims now, after the attack, one was on the side of the terrorists. One of my friends, a cartoonist, put up a really well written argument against this and was bullied into taking it down. Karen Jespersen, mentioned above, was formerly a well-known and outspoken antisemite. Now that it is more interesting to act aggressively towards Muslims, suddenly she is writing articles about how Jews are in danger in Europe. I'm not saying Danes are nice.

And then I obviously need to repeat and repeat that the concerns of French Jews are totally based on a real high threat-level. There are good reasons French Jews are worried, and I share their worries, but still they choose to stay in France for some reason which is probably meaningful for them, and which should be respected by Netanyahu, but isn't. So he spent some of his time in Paris telling French Jews that they are not safe, and should come to Israel where they would be safe. Which is quite rich, in my opinion. In spite of the reality of antisemitism in France, and the reality of several attacks and violation of Jewish institutions, the level of threat in nowhere near what it is in Israel, for reasons that are obvious to most Europeans but are clearly hard to perceive from a distance. However, in France as in Denmark, it is possible to find some Jews who will confirm the Israeli government spin, and journalists fall in hook, sink and line all the time, because somehow this is a good story.

Denmark is not France. At all.

The concerns of Danish Jews are based on some real threats from a very specific very small group, but they are also met by real support and protection by the Danish state, regardless of which party is in power. The state is able to offer this protection because Denmark is so small that everyone in the small, dangerous group of anti-semites and potential islamists can be known to the authorities and surveilled at all hours.
The situation at Charlie Hebdo or the Jewish supermarket in Paris would not happen here, and did not happen here. Both Paris sites were not properly protected for economic reasons. Both the sites in Denmark which were attacked were guarded by regular police some of whom were wounded in action, and all of whom prevented an escalation. The guard at the synagogue was there to prevent entry alongside police. The person who was killed at the first shooting was in the line of fire for reasons as yet unexplained, but all other civilians were protected. The police was there. As I understand it, the police protection of Jewish sites was dialed up immediately after the first attack.

Several attempts at assassination have been prevented that we know about from the press. It is said that several more remain unreported, because police want to keep their networks and methods secret.

What you probably don't know is that every single person living in Denmark has a complete digital file of all their relations with the state, municipalities and other authorities (including libraries) which can be made accessible to the police by court order. The banks are also easily forced to hand over all information by court order, (though most is already automatically handed over to the tax-system) as are the telephone/data companies. This is a degree of control which few democracies would accept, and I get that, but this is how we roll. So the minute a person is seen as a threat to the Jewish community, there is nowhere he can hide. It will be easy for the police to find his friends, family, former offenses, school record, sports activities, medical record - everything. Social workers, educational institutions, medical staff can all be involved if necessary to keep track of a person and his community. To keep off the radar in Denmark you need a lot more planning than most disaffected youth are capable of. Specifically, this killer was tracked because he used his phone, which was already surveilled because he was already on the list. Already early Sunday, police raided the web-café he usually attended and arrested everyone who moved there.

Most sane Danes including Jews are aware of this and trust the authorities. This is one reason why we don't need a lot of visible force, as they do in Israel, or in France.

This doesn't mean we are completely safe. We are obviously still vulnerable to attacks by very structured foreign terrorists. But it is also very difficult to get into Denmark, and get around unnoticed because again: this is a really, really small country. People notice strangers, and because they trust the authorities and dislike strangers, they report strange behaviour.

Finally, the story of Martin Krasnik, the very well-known Danish journalist walking through Nørrebro wearing a yarmulke was published in that same completely analogue paper I cited earlier. What you can find on the webs are either far-right or far-left interpretations. You'll have to trust my retelling of the story and use your imagination.
Martin Krasnik is very famous here, and he has very characteristic features. He is very open about his zionist opinions and he has his own TV show.
The Israeli ambassador claimed that it was dangerous to walk in Nørrebro if you were obviously Jewish. He did have support from one or two Jewish citizens (this is ages ago, I don't remember if my friend was one of them, he may very well have been). Many journalists tested it, with no drama at all, because there is no drama. Then Krasnik set out to test it.

This is as if you send one of the most prominent commentators on Fox News into one of the most gang-ridden areas in the US, except everything in Denmark is different.

Obviously, Krasnik was recognized, and of course it was seen as a provocation. Here we have the best known zionist in Denmark promenading a yarmulke in the area where most Palestinian refugees live, and importantly, most Palestinian gangsters live. The first thing he does is to confront a gang leader. Nothing happens, and then nothing happens except Krasnik feels stuff. Then he reaches the area where the perpetrator of this weekend's crimes lives, and Krasnik feels some more. But he is still completely unharmed and the threats he claims to receive are veiled to the extent it might all be in his imagination. However, I believe this last part of his promenade might have been scary and might have influenced the whole article. Because, as I wrote above, the youth is this particular very small area are incredibly jaded and drugged and even I always check out if they seem to have taken something before I approach them. These kids are not dangerous because they are anti-semites. They are dangerous because they are violent coke-heads.

I have met Krasnik, and I really like him and I agree with him on most issues, but I believe he was used by the Israeli government in this case - maybe unwittingly. There was no story, it had been tested by several normal journalists and activists with no effect, and it was only when a very famous zionist tested the idea that anything at all happened. Anything being polite comments.
posted by mumimor at 2:08 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Denmark’s Jewish Radio Station Shuts Down
On the advice of the country’s security officials, Radio Shalom goes off the air


Again, the Tablet seems to have misunderstood the original story, or to be choosing a very sharp angle.
According to the original story on the Danish, not Dutch, national broadcast system, Radio Shalom was told by the authorities that the threat-level was dangerously high, and they were offered police protection. Since the station did not want to work under police protection, they voluntarily and temporarily shut down. As did the Jewish school in Copenhagen, also mentioned in the article.

Here is the link. Notice the image in the link. In the Tablet article, the image is of a group of people at a demonstration against terror. In the original article there is a picture of an elderly gentleman in a homey office. In Nørrebro, BTW. This area which is too dangerous for Jews.
The owner of the private radio station, amazingly named Abraham Kopenhagen, tells DR that he cannot see there is a threat, but that he does take the police warning seriously.
posted by mumimor at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought some of you may like to see some photos from inner Copenhagen.
posted by kariebookish at 3:43 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Carolineskolen (a Jewish school, in Copenhagen) has also been closed, although I presume the closure is only temporary. In August it reportedly told its students that they were not allowed to leave its premises wearing identifiably-Jewish clothing:
“If a boy wears a kippah, we will ask him to put in a cap so it is no longer visible,” principal Jan Hansen said.
Also, from five years ago: Schools caught up in Palestinian conflict
Barbed-wire fences and security guards are a regular part of many Jewish childrens' school day

A number of school administrators have come forth in recent days to confirm that they recommend Jewish children should not enrol at their schools[....]
Their concerns are well-founded (Google Translate), but a civilised society should not accept this. I'm quoting the last line for its whistling-past-the-graveyard bravado:
Rabbi Bent Lexner called the headmasters' concern 'theoretical. In reality, Jewish parents would never try to enrol their child in those schools.'
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:34 PM on February 17, 2015


Joe in Australia, the school opened again yesterday. It seems the reason it was closed Monday was that the teachers held a seminar to prepare for talking with the children about what had happened. (In one interview, a parent says they would have kept their child home regardless, because of grief).

The story from five years ago turned up to be based on a lie by one head-master, the one I wrote about earlier in this thread. All schools in Nørrebro have Jewish students enrolled, and no other schools have experienced any form of racist activities. After the election where we changed from having a conservative to a socialist government, she retracted all her statements and quit her job. It was quite embarrassing to all that this big public hearing had been arranged and lots of political posturing, all on the basis of a non-story.

There are no "number of school administrators", and there is no foundation for concern in Copenhagen.

There were two schools in Århus and Odense respectively where antisemitic speech was reported at the time. The first has been closed down because of bad management. The problems in Odense were and are still serious. And at these two schools, no Jewish family would enroll their child, that is true. However, the problems are mostly about poverty and crime in areas in cities with very problematic local governments. No Christian or atheist parents would enroll their children in those schools, either. They were managed more as containers for immigrant children than as institutions of learning. Scandalous, yes. A sign of rising antisemitism in Denmark, nah. A new national law of education is among other things an attempt to prevent this type of schools.

If you read the last link, the student they have been able to find who can tell about racist bullying is a Jewish-Muslim boy from a Muslim private school. Obviously, he should not be bullied. But he is not a Jewish boy being bullied at a public school.
posted by mumimor at 10:54 PM on February 17, 2015


Mumimor, it's extraordinary that you have such good explanations for everything, but nonetheless: two men are dead. One of them died, in fact, protecting the guests at a 12 year-old girl's birthday party. Jews in Denmark think their children need to be protected against murderers who will seek to slaughter them for their religion. And they were right.

According to you, "xenophobia is a normal and frustrating part of daily life [in Denmark, but] anti-semitism on a personal level is not." But you yourself say that "you think everyone acknowledges Jews, and then you meet really close friends who have almost nazi-like points of view". Those things don't go together.

You describe the radio station as being "voluntarily and temporarily shut down", but you're ignoring the fact that it was on the advice of the Danish security forces. Yes, the owner had the choice of remaining on air while under heavy police guard - but so what? The question isn't whether he was forced to close; the question is whether Danish Jews can live a normal life.

You say the school was closed for a "seminar", but multiple news reports say that it was "necessary due to the security threat." Even on your account, it was closed so that teachers could explain to their students why a gunman chose to attack a Jewish child's birthday party. Here's what one parent says kids are taught there:
“My children know that if they hear a shot, they have to fall down on the ground immediately. It’s just a part of being a Jew. Other Danes live in a totally other world.”
Of course, I suppose he might be lying too ...

Everything you've said has had this conflicted air about it. It's all "Jews don't encounter anti-Semitism, but my friends are like Nazis, and this journalist is recognisably Jewish - and a Zionist! so walking down the street is provocative, and it isn't all schools that are unsafe for Jews, just some, and anyway the kid that was stabbed didn't go to a public school, and the headmaster was a liar." Frankly, I don't believe a word of it, and I don't think you do either. You just don't want to admit that your society tolerates the oppression of Jews.

While I'm on the subject, the fact that Jews are forced to pay a tax to support the Lutheran Church is appalling. I've read that the government has ways of subsidising other religions too (including Judaism), but that really doesn't make it any better. It's as if some state in the USA had a special grant for White couples to encourage the birth of "racially pure" kids. It wouldn't be one bit better if they also gave an ex gratia payment to Black and mixed-race kids. It's a way of demonstrating that Jews (and Muslims and Catholics and so forth) are second-class citizens, whose right to their identity is tolerated, is indulged, but which may be removed at any time.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:06 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


While I'm on the subject, the fact that Jews are forced to pay a tax to support the Lutheran Church is appalling.

You're right, that would be appalling.

If it were true.

It isn't.

You have to be a member of the state church (which is completely voluntary) to be paying church tax, which is how the state church is funded.

And in fact, because donations to other religious institutions are tax-deductible, the effective subsidy given to other religious institutions is in many cases higher (certainly per person) because of the scale of that tax write-off.
posted by Dysk at 1:13 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's as if some state in the USA had a special grant for White couples to encourage the birth of "racially pure" kids.


...and no, that isn't what it's like at all. You are way, WAY over-egging the pudding here.
posted by Dysk at 1:21 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Joe in Australia, you're getting into fake quoting and personal insult territory here. Please make your points without the personal stuff.]
posted by taz at 2:49 AM on February 18, 2015


Joe in Australia, I will no longer engage in this discussion. Your sources are unreliable, and you insist on believing grotesque claims that are not based in reality from sources that distort information from Denmark.

I don't have "good explanations" - I am telling you how life is here in Nørrebro where I live alongside Jews, Christians and Muslims. My sources are local sources. Each time I reply here in this thread I read several sources from different political standpoints. Or I tell about my own real life experience as a person with Jewish heritage and many Jewish friends and colleagues.

I am also trying to explain here that Denmark is a very small country with a very high level of security. Denmark has very different values and ways of doing things even from neighboring countries Sweden and Germany, let alone France. Denmark is a country that is hard to understand from the other side of the world, regardless, and concerning the specific issues of racism, violence and safety it is really difficult, which shows in the international reporting. Journalists from abroad often misinterpret what they see, because it doesn't match up with their preconceived notions.

I am not trying to say Denmark is a paradise on earth, or that there is no threat towards Jews in this country. I am saying clearly and repeatedly that there is a threat, and that this threat comes from a very specific and very small group, which is clearly localized and well-known by the police. Because this threat is real, safety precautions are taken, both by the state and by the Jewish community. These safety precautions mean that it is much safer to live as a Jew in Denmark than in Israel or France.

I am also not claiming there is no wider antisemitism in Denmark. Contrariwise. But I am trying to make it very clear that this does not in any way cause Jews to be or feel more unsafe because this type of antisemitism poses no threat whatsoever. It is just ignorance and majority Danes do not act upon their prejudices against Jews, neither through hate-speech nor violence, because it is completely unacceptable after WW2.

Most hate-speech and hate-crime in Denmark is directed towards Muslims.
posted by mumimor at 3:02 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, I forgot: have a nice day!
posted by mumimor at 3:11 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Journalists from abroad often misinterpret what they see, because it doesn't match up with their preconceived notions.

That has been one of my main problems from the start. I know journalists cannot begin to understand domestic politics and local discourse, but neither is it helpful to have a pre-decided narrative when events are still unfolding. Wall-to-wall media coverage doesn't help at all, either. I don't know. Between this and the Scottish referendum, I am sick and tired of big media that ignore what's actually happening if it doesn't fit their story and who will happily blast the heck out of something that suits them.

Again, I am thankful that my friend is still alive today (and appears to be getting help dealing with what happened Saturday), I am sad that this happened at all, and I worry where Denmark is heading. Speaking with friends, I guess Denmark has two options: either the country continues down the national-conservative path with a narrow definition of Danish-ness, or it learns to deal with multi-culturalism in an inclusive way.

I don't actually worry too much about Copenhagen itself (because, like London and the UK, Copenhagen doesn't really represent the rest of Denmark). I worry more that some uneducated hick from Nowheresville will grab his mates and go out for some retaliation. That really wouldn't be good.
posted by kariebookish at 6:14 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


In my experience, it's far more likely that it'd be some provincial townie (think mid- to largeish towns and cities outside Sjælland) than someone from the country or a smaller landsby.
posted by Dysk at 7:50 AM on February 18, 2015


But I am trying to make it very clear that this does not in any way cause Jews to be or feel more unsafe because this type of antisemitism poses no threat whatsoever.

Except that's not what Danish Jews keep saying. A great many Danish Jews are saying that they do feel under threat from antisemitism, not least because they are occasionally killed by antisemites. Your concern about anti-Muslim hate crimes is valid and noble, but does not excuse your repeated ignoring of Jews' very real and very valid fears.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:13 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jewish institutions closing down after the shooting. .

So, all's well in Denmark?
posted by ocschwar at 9:25 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


A great many Danish Jews are saying that they do feel under threat from antisemitism, not least because they are occasionally killed by antisemites.

Citations please, for both allegations: "a great many" and "occasionally killed". One man has been killed. It is terrible, and more than 30.000 Danes grieved for him publicly Monday. But that does not "occasionally"make. Some Jews are really scared right now and here after the Charlie Hebdo and this weekend's killings. I cannot blame them. But the chief Rabbi of Denmark has issued a statement today that he is not at all scared. I cannot find any valid documentation here, in Danish media, that "a great many Danish Jews" generally feel under threat.

oschwar, I have addressed that link above. But I'd like to repeat for didactic redundancy: The owner/manager of the radio who has worked there for ages does not feel threatened, but respects the judgement of the police who are running no risks these days. He will reopen in the same site asap.
Carolineskolen, the Jewish school, has reopened.

Why are you all so eager to make Denmark seem a dangerous place for Jews? There are no facts to support this. Come and visit!
posted by mumimor at 9:48 AM on February 18, 2015


Relevant to this discussion (though in Danish, but Google Translate is your friend if you're not Scandinavian, I guess).

Published yesterday: An interview with Herbert Pundik, probably the most influential journalist in Denmark over the last 50 years (and a super-influential Danish Jew. I cannot overstate how much Pundik has meant to Danish cultural life), conducted by Benjamin Krasnik. Pundik has divided his time between Israel and Denmark for the past 60 years. The gist is, basically, Pundik is taking Danish media to task over the way they have behaved over the last few years and, in particular, how they used the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Note that this interview between two leading Danish Jews is being published in Kristelig Dagblad (Christian Daily News) as KD is one of the few newspapers willing to publish more .. philosophical? .. interviews on topics of faith and beliefs. I writing "willing" because such topics are generally treated as LOLZ by the mainstream press unless we are talking Danish People's Party press releases. If you are looking for sources about how Jewish life in Denmark is like at the moment, you can do much worse than Herbert Pundik (as this thread has already shown).

Sorry that I'm not translating it but I translate for a living and my brain is fried. The interview is full of nuggets and if Google Translate throws up something stupid, just ask away and I'll step in.
posted by kariebookish at 10:03 AM on February 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks, kariebookish, Herbert and his wife Sussi are family friends, and immensely generous and wise people.
They immigrated to Israel 50+ years ago, but remained active in Danish public life, Herbert as the most influential publicist of his generation. They lost one son, Uri, in the Yom Kippur war, and their other son, Ron Pundak, died far too young of cancer last year. Along with his friend, the former chief Rabbi Bent Melchior, Herbert has shaped the image of modern Jewish life in Danish perception. They are both tolerant and patient, but also critical and sometimes very sharp.

For various reasons, there are very close connections between Israel and Denmark. Herbert and Sussi are among a handful of people who conduct cultural diplomacy, connecting and maintaining connections between the countries.

In a strange way, I think the fact that almost all Danish Jews were saved from Holocaust, and thus all the old European social structures were upheld, is an important element in the unusual relation of Danes to Jews and Muslims alike. And Herbert is almost a symbol of that continuity, even after he immigrated.

Because Danish Jews were saved, Danish antisemites did not carry a huge guilt. They could piggyback on the people who saved the Jews and claim they were part of that - and for political reasons they weren't ever called out. Families and cultural enclaves which were antisemitic during the 1930's still are, but now they have also internalized that "we saved the Jews", and thus that the Jews are somehow precious and unassailable. So they still nurse despicable prejudices but they are at the same time protective of the Jewish community.

On the other hand, the whole Jewish, liberal intelligentsia which was wiped out across Europe and from which the survivors largely moved to the US and UK is still an active lively cultural force in Denmark - with Herbert as a friendly patriarch. Herbert's newspaper, Politiken, was founded by Jewish Edvard Brandes and Hermann Bing along with the non-Jew Viggo Hørup. Edvard's brother Georg was the first prominent Nietzsche scholar, and a European intellectual celebrity. Because the Danish tradition is almost uninterrupted by Holocaust, some Danish points of view are just really strange to modern, international observers. Danish Jews may hold opinions that are unthinkable in other countries.

On the other hand, the cartoon controversy runs exactly on the pre-ww2 fault-line. And thus, the situation today is really complicated, because the assassination attacked both a "free-speech" organization and a synagogue. This is simple in France, and probably also from the point of view of the young murderer. But in a specific Danish context it is difficult. ("free speech" in quote marks because obviously everyone on the liberal Jewish side of this controversy supports free-speech. Free speech has in Denmark to some extent become a signifier of hate-speech).

These last few days, Facebook has been fascinating from exactly that point of view. Because some of my friends who had crossed over to the free-speech fundamentalist side have suddenly looked around and realized they were in really bad company. Others are not as receptive, but are confused by the fact that hate-crime can strike in all directions. And joyously, some friends who have been culturally on the hate-side are coming over to tolerance and peace, realizing that whatever their parents or preachers told them is just wrong.

Whilst preparing dinner, I came to think of how extremely offensive it is that people on this thread insist that they know better than me what my friends in my hometown believe and fear. I acknowledge that I am probably not good at describing a complicated and unusual situation that is all around me. But please, give me the benefit of the doubt instead of accusing me of truly frightful things.
posted by mumimor at 12:06 PM on February 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


mumimor, thank you for your comments. It is hard to get an accurate read on what is happening in Denmark from where I'm sitting in CA -- your comments are adding a lot of context for me.
posted by wuwei at 12:36 PM on February 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


That is a fantastic comment, mumimor. as I said, you are far more eloquent than me on this topic.
posted by kariebookish at 12:41 PM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks, kariebookish & mumimor.

I'm neither Danish nor devoutly Jewish (though I am a Sabra), so I lack the perspective to fully understand, but I have dear friends in Denmark and have had the opportunity to visit them there. News of the attacks shocked & saddened me, and in the aftermath I've been struggling to fit them into my experiences & impressions of Denmark: everything from my feeling exceptionally safe and welcome there (and understanding why my American friend was so eager to move there and has never looked back), to being abundantly aware of Denmark's role in WWII, to being utterly shocked at the flagrant [anti-Muslim] racism that my otherwise-progressive native Danish friends will blithely reveal (even whilst living in the US, but much more freely now in DK).... What you've written has tracked with my vague impressions, and articulated the nuances & complexities I sensed but couldn't fully appreciate as a foreigner. It's been immensely helpful!

Something that is striking to me as an American is the degree to which structural policies can be decoupled from the collective influence of individuals when the country is small enough. I usually think about this in the context of education: there's huge funding & curricular variability in the US because it's impossible for us to agree that, while we may all believe different things as people, it's in society's interest to set X standards. Such things are easier to optimize in a smaller country with a more communal ethos. I wonder if there's a similar phenomenon with individual prejudice vs. state protections. Those aren't easily decoupled here, where state policy is absolutely at the mercy of collective individual bigotry -- cf Ferguson, the drug war, Eric Garner, &c -- but from everything I can gather, Denmark as a state has been unfailingly protective of Jews despite whatever personal anti-Semitic feelings some Danes may have.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of the victims; to the people of Denmark shaken by this uncharacteristic violence; and to everyone who feels unsafe, wherever they are.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:11 PM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Coverage of Dan Uzan's funeral:
Tearful Danish Prime Minister joins mourners at the funeral of Jewish security guard shot dead in Copenhagen terror attack as police snipers keep watch

NB: The Daily Mail has really picked up its game. It may be a selection effect, because I only read it when I'm directed to a good article, but I've read a few recent reports that covered their story well and had a lot of relevant photos. The presentation was decent, too: there was none of this "click here for more on the story" or "click here for a slideshow". It's probably time to take it more seriously, now that The Telegraph has apparently turned to the dark side.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:02 PM on February 18, 2015


It's probably time to take it more seriously, now that The Telegraph has apparently turned to the dark side.

No, no it's not. And just because it's not scapegoating a group you belong to today, doesn't mean it won't be back to doing that as soon as it suits - their attack on Ed Miliband's Jewish refugee father was a nauseating piece of work. It's a disgusting publication which often attacks and demonises the poorest and most vulnerable on society.
posted by Flitcraft at 7:05 PM on February 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


You might well be correct. Like I say, I don't read it. But this article doesn't scapegoat anybody, and I've been generally pleased with the coverage of some other ones I've read lately. And they seem to be treating their photographers with respect, which is also nice.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:55 PM on February 18, 2015


A sad update: A new witness claimed that he saw the first victim of the murderer trying to stop him from shooting. With his bare hands.

I believe this. The first victim, a documentary filmmaker, was known for his faith in humanity and in kindness. He was not a person who mocked Muslims or any other people, and his films are perceptive and caring.

If this is true, then both civilian victims in this shooting were heros who tried to defend others, regardless of the risk. I am grateful for their bravery and selflessness.
posted by mumimor at 1:56 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




German Jews hide Jewish magazine for fear of anti-Semitic attacks
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post on Friday, the Berlin Jewish community spokesman Ilan Kiesling said, “Despite considerably higher costs, the community’s executive board decided to send the community magazine in a neutral envelope, in order to reduce the hostility toward our more than 10,000 members. Many community members were thinking about cancelling their subscription.”

The security measure to send the magazine “Jewish Berlin” in an unmarked envelope was formulated as part of new security protocols with the police and the security department of the Berlin Jewish community.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:40 PM on February 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Memorial Website for Dan Uzan.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:18 AM on February 22, 2015


BBC - Europe's young Jews after Paris and Copenhagen attacks
Europe's Jewish communities have had to boost their security after four Jewish men were murdered at a kosher supermarket in Paris and a fifth man was shot dead outside Copenhagen synagogue.

For young Jews, the violent anti-Semitism comes as a shock, and a reminder of the Holocaust 70 years ago.

Here are the views of five young people across Europe, including one who knew Dan Uzan, the 37-year-old man shot dead while guarding Copenhagen's synagogue on 15 February.
The interviews themselves are in the linked article.
posted by rosswald at 4:04 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]






Yes, the crazies have taken over.

I'm truly depressed.. This evening there was some drama on my street (unrelated to everything, not even in the news) and there were hundreds of police. This gave me the opportunity to thank those I met for their courage and clear minds. They seemed genuinely happy for the thumbs-up, in a situation where there are very few sane people are speaking out. If you try to say or write something rational, thoughtful and/or kind in any media, you will immediately be bombarded with personal threats, letters to the editor, FB s***-storms etc. Apart from being depressed, I am embarrassed.

But just to keep everyone informed: the issues are incredibly complex, and basically the main points are still the same. Jews are very, very safe in Denmark, in spite of the often outspoken anti-semitism, not only from Arabs but also from "white" Danes.
posted by mumimor at 12:31 PM on March 1, 2015


Jews are very, very safe in Denmark, in spite of the often outspoken anti-semitism, not only from Arabs but also from "white" Danes.

You're speaking from a position of privilege. Abusive language is harmful; someone subjected to it is not safe.

Furthermore, we're talking about the murder of one Jew by someone who was trying to kill a whole bunch of Jews. Jews in Denmark are not even physically safe; that's why Jewish institutions are guarded; that's why Jews in Denmark have been advised to hide their identity.

You, yourself, explain violence against French Jews as being because they are "Conservative, and have zionist political views" and public abuse of a Jewish reporter as being because he was "the best known zionist in Denmark promenading a yarmulke". This probably isn't true; as far as we know, nobody recognised him and even as "the best known zionist in Denmark" he didn't expect to be assaulted: he was assaulted by people who didn't like seeing someone dressed as a Jew. Your excuse is classic victim-blaming; it's no better than saying "if she wasn't wearing a short skirt she wouldn't have been raped". It's also incoherent: if Jews in the public sphere are subject to violence then they are not safe.

Finally, you have repeatedly made a really, really offensive claim:1,2,3,4,5,6 that Danish Jews' fears have been whipped up by an Israeli government which is "fishing for immigrants." This implies that:
  • Jews can be regarded as "safe" even when they are subjected to anti-Semitic abuse;
  • Jews can be "safe" if they will only conceal their identity;
  • Jews' feelings of persecution are false and can be dismissed;
  • The Israeli government uses claims of anti-Semitism to manipulate "the international press";
  • The Israeli government is lying when it alleges that Jews in Europe are not safe;
  • The Israeli government is cynically seeking some sort of advantage when it pretend to be concerned with the welfare of European Jews.
These claims are anti-Semitic. The idea of the deceitful Jew is a fundamental staple of classic European anti-Semitism. The idea that Jews cry crocodile tears over oppression is another. The idea that Jews (here represented by the Israeli government) controls or manipulates the press is a staple of modern European anti-Semitism, repeated in every anti-Semitic text from the Protocols until today. So is the idea that Jewish leaders cynically sacrifice their flock for some supposed advantage. I'm pretty sure you don't realise how very, very anti-Semitic your views are, which is why I've taken the time to break this down for you. Now go and learn.

1
The whole story about Jews not being able to walk freely in Nørrebro is a media-stunt, orchestrated by the Israeli government at a time when they (again) were fishing for immigrants because of the cartoon crisis.

2
The most important being that the Israeli government is running a very tasteless campaign using the terror-attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in order to "fish" Jews from France and Denmark.

3
I believe [the reporter Martin Krasnik] was used by the Israeli government in this case[....]

4
As a journalist, or as an Israeli ambassador, it is not hard to find people like this friend of mine, who will make claims that are completely unsubstantiated.

5
But a lot of the stuff you read in the international press is generated from claims from the Israeli government.

6
However, in France as in Denmark, it is possible to find some Jews who will confirm the Israeli government spin, and journalists fall in hook, sink and line all the time, because somehow this is a good story.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:56 PM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


The thing is, I have been in places where people strongly dislike Jews but where I never felt that someone was going to hurt me because of it, and it still sucks. Safety is more than just not being worried someone is going to kill you.
posted by jeather at 5:33 PM on March 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think you're effectively talking at cross purposes, with differing definitions of 'safe'. For what it's worth, 'safety' translates to 'sikkerhed' but I would probably more readily translate 'sikkerhed' as 'security'. Further than that, and overly simplistic as it may seem, there is a fairly widespread 'sticks and stones may hurt my bones...' sentiment in Denmark. The language and discourse is often much more extreme and violent than you'd expect elsewhere (certainly than you'd expect in polite company elsewhere) but it doesn't correlate with behaviours or attacks and so on in the way that it might in other places (where the discourse doesn't get so heated so readily, and is more strongly indicative of something).

Speaking simply for myself as a trans person - in Denmark, people are far less respectful in person, and will readily tell me exactly what they think of trans people and transgender as a thing in situations where we're expected to make polite company and get along, I get a lot more comments and shouts on the street, and so on and so on, than I do in the UK. Like, no comparison, there's a lot more of that to deal with when I'm back visiting family. I've never been physically attacked or assaulted, though (whereas I have in the UK, more than a handful of times). So while I may be more on edge and feel less acceptance in Denmark, in a measurable way, I am safer or at least have greater physical security, despite the common discourse being much less accepting of me.

I think it is an effectively analogous position that mumimor is trying to explain with regard to Jewishness.
posted by Dysk at 1:48 AM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Joe in Australia: "Abusive language is harmful; someone subjected to it is not safe. "
By that yardstick, Arab-looking people living in Denmark are much less safe than Jews. And it's probably right as well, though hard to say for sure - they don't tend to make international headlines when they get killed.
posted by brokkr at 1:58 AM on March 2, 2015


And indeed, what about the mens.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:41 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Before we go too far down this road, it's fine to express concern about both anti-semitic and Islamophobic violence, aggression, etc., but not so great to use one to *counter* the other, ie. "why aren't you talking about X instead of Z." Let's just generally try to avoid debate that positions concerns about one as being unconcerned with or supportive of the other. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 3:33 AM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dysk, thanks. That is exactly what I am trying to describe. And I guess at this point it is important for me to state that I disagree with the Danish sentiment which Dysk describes. But: A huge part of the Jewish population here agrees.
So yes, I can agree with Joe in Australia that the way people here in Denmark talk about Jews (and Muslims, and people of color, and gay people, and transgender people, and women, and Finns, and Germans, and well, almost everyone not middle-class 10th generation Danish) is quite shocking and in my view wrong. However, this only very rarely translates into discrimination against Jews, and almost never into violence.
In my view, Jews in Denmark could play a huge role in changing this attitude. But for many, many generations, the point of view has been that he who lives quietly lives well. Actually, those were my exact words when my grandparents suggested I should be more outspoken - not least about the middle east conflicts (remember, they were Jewish). They had come to see that this point of view was damaging for Denmark as a nation, long before the cartoon crisis. But it took me another ten years to realize they were right.
posted by mumimor at 12:26 PM on March 2, 2015


There are all sorts of ways in which humans use their implicit biases to discriminate against people, even when they think they don't. I'm sure that Danes don't think they're doing anything wrong, but I have trouble imagining a country where people feel free to talk about how horrible some group is loudly and in public, but do not act any differently towards them in any way at all. I don't think Denmark is an unusually anti-semitic place, but I would like to see actual research showing that the freedom to loudly say how you hate Jews doesn't affect hiring decisions, voting decisions, law results, etc etc. (Something which does happen elsewhere.)
posted by jeather at 1:17 PM on March 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dysk, your experience in Denmark vs the UK might be informative in other contexts, but we're talking about an armed assault on a Danish synagogue that killed one Jew and was apparently meant to kill many more. Even if I were inclined to accept your view that verbal assaults in Denmark do not translate into physical attacks, surely you can see that it's hardly reassuring when an attack has already occurred.

Hypothetically, suppose a group of women reported that they were afraid of violence and had been for years; that they took care to secure their homes with high walls and security cameras; that there were regular threats of violence against them; and that some religious leaders regularly inveighed against these "feminists", who ought to be run out of town. Suppose that there was also independent corroboration of all this. Would you minimise their concerns and say that it was just talk? Suppose one of them had recently been murdered, in an attack on a women's refuge. Would you keep on saying that it was just a load of nonsense, that this sort of thing doesn't translate to violence, that their fears are being drummed up by outside forces? Surely not.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:51 PM on March 2, 2015


[One comment deleted. This discussion is a lot more specific than 'can one criticize Israel's government without being antisemitic', that's a derail we don't need to get into here. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:04 PM on March 2, 2015


Joe in Australia, I really don't understand what you are getting at. I suggest you come here to visit. It's far easier to understand when you are in the actual situation. I'm describing the reality here as it is, which is complex, and both good and bad.
You are imagining stuff to fit into your established world view.

While I am sad and worried, my sadness is because Denmark are changing from being the country which saved all the Jews during WW2 to being more like Norway, another completely safe Scandinavian country.
posted by mumimor at 12:50 AM on March 3, 2015


Oh for sure there's discrimination, both conscious and unconscious. But that does not routinely translate into violence in the way that it in my experience does in for example the UK. There has indeed been one attack, aye, and that did very sadly leave Dan Uzan dead, but it's not like this sort of thing is even remotely routine or unexpected in the way it is being portrayed here.
posted by Dysk at 3:15 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A couple of comments deleted. Let's step away from personal stuff completely now. I'll ask that this doesn't become a discussion between a couple of people trying to change each other's opinion because a) that's not happening here, and b) it's becoming more personal, and less a group discussion, and c) pretty much getting into direct insult territory.]
posted by taz at 3:42 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


You are imagining stuff to fit into your established world view.
posted by mumimor

but it's not like this sort of thing is even remotely routine or unexpected in the way it is being portrayed here.
posted by Dysk


And yet Jewish institutions in Denmark, and across Europe, have had to strengthen their security practices yet again - so much so that Jewish sites now have military and police forces on guard with assault rifles, and likely this will have to continue indefinitely.
posted by rosswald at 6:29 AM on March 3, 2015


No, I posted what I did for a reason. That 'un' was on there for a reason. It is neither as routine nor as unexpected as it is being portrayed here by different people.
posted by Dysk at 6:32 AM on March 3, 2015


Ah I see, my apologies.
posted by rosswald at 6:35 AM on March 3, 2015




Did you rtfa?
posted by mumimor at 1:10 PM on March 6, 2015


Y
posted by rosswald at 1:16 PM on March 6, 2015


For info for the unwary who don't know what kind of publication the Daily Mail is:

My Year Ripping Off the Web With the Daily Mail Online

The Mail's editorial model depends on little more than dishonesty, theft of copyrighted material, and sensationalism so absurd that it crosses into fabrication.

It's both hateful and extremely unreliable.
posted by Flitcraft at 2:53 PM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do you doubt the truth of the story, Flitcraft, or are you just attacking the messenger?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:49 AM on March 7, 2015


I had thought the videos were interesting, and I personally don't think the entire article should be dismissed out of hand.
posted by rosswald at 4:07 AM on March 7, 2015


If it's from the Daily Mail, it's not from a trustworthy or ethical source, and thus if you want people to discuss it, you're asking people either to trust a source with a very bad track record, or to sink their time into investigating whether for once it's not lying, exaggerating or sensationalising, or lying by omission/leaving out important things people need to know for context. You should be able to get coverage of current levels of anti-semitism in Britain from much better sources. The obvious one for British Judaism is the Jewish Chronicle which for example has an anti-semitism tag which seems to have a good range of stories here which you might find of interest. The Mail has little interest in giving an accurate picture, it's interested in driving clicks to its pages through sensationalism and fear.
posted by Flitcraft at 5:42 PM on March 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Flitcraft, the fact that you don't like the Daily Mail is about a zillion times less important than the fact that Jews can't go for a walk in Manchester safely.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:15 PM on March 7, 2015


Shocking anti-Semitism on streets of Britain as Jewish journalist is spat at, abused and even stalked... and the same happens in Copenhagen

That is not what TFA says in the body text:

"There was only ever the feeling of somebody taking a quick look here and there and I was not aware of any abuse. When meeting a friend at the end of filming the experiment, she barely noticed it and I had also almost forgotten that I was wearing it.
I did not hear the 'f*** you little jew' comment at the time. It was only when we were editing the shots that it became clear."

One awful comment is not the same as the deal in Manchester. If you want to have a sensible discussion about a thing, it's best not to start by muddying the whole thing with misrepresentations and lies, which is is what the Daily Mail does, and did in this instance with regard to attitudes toward Judaism in Copenhagen (which I thought was a topic of this thread - if you think attitudes to Jews in Manchester is more important, you may well be right, and should go make that thread.)
posted by Dysk at 4:10 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]




If you want to have a sensible discussion about a thing, it's best not to start by muddying the whole thing with misrepresentations and lies, which is is what the Daily Mail does,

Exactly.
posted by Flitcraft at 8:24 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


In which we learn that the radio station of the totally-safe Jewish community has recorded a show, but is still off the air "for security reasons": Jews in Denmark consider move to Israel
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:44 AM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]




Also from France:
French judge issues international arrest warrants for suspects in 1982 Jewish attack
A French magistrate has issued international arrest warrants for three men living in Oslo, Ramallah and Jordan, suspected of carrying out an attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris in 1982 that killed six people, a judicial source said.
Catch those three locations? Oslo, Ramallah, and Jordan.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong ...
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:22 PM on March 9, 2015


Why doesn't it belong? In the course of 33 years, people move around the world. Unless they were known suspects, why wouldn't it be expected that terrorists could migrate?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:53 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]




Uh-huh. And?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 PM on March 9, 2015


Oh, I just thought it was funny.

Yes, of course terrorists can migrate. But I would have expected a member of Abu Nidal to choose a place where they were less conspicuous.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:30 PM on March 9, 2015


I don't see what would make him particularly conspicuous. It's not like he's got a forehead tattoo.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:39 AM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


You are aware that Oslo is the capital of Norway, which is a separate country from Denmark, with a different history and different cultural norms?
posted by mumimor at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


(And enough of an immigrant population that being from the middle east - terrorist or no - does not make you conspicuous)
posted by Dysk at 11:18 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


You are aware that Oslo is the capital of Norway, which is a separate country from Denmark, with a different history and different cultural norms?

Oh yes. But I understand that Jews aren't adequately protected in Norway or Denmark (or Sweden, for that matter). I think the common cultural history of the Scandinavian countries may have something to do with this: they seem to each have a tendency to disregard or resent minorities' concerns, as if people are less Danish/Swedish/Norwegian to the extent that they identify as a member of an ethnic minority group. As a consequence, a person who is vulnerable because of their ethnicity is not given the same support as a person who is vulnerable for other reasons. But this is just my speculation, of course.

Were you aware that the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen has a "safe room", which is where the guests retreated during the assault? A house of worship with a "safe room", just as you have a school surrounded by cameras, barbed wire and fences, and a radio station with a security guard.

If you weren't aware of these security measures (that have been empirically shown to be necessary), why would you think you're in a position to comment about Danish Jews' concerns? And if you were aware of them, why do you accept this state of affairs?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:55 PM on March 10, 2015


To be honest, Joe in Australia, I have the sense that you have not read any of my posts.

I have written that I have close ties to the Jewish community in Denmark, both familial and social. Obviously, I know exactly which safety measures the community feel are necessary, and with some I, and my Jewish friends, agree. With others we don't. There is no doubt that I know a lot more about Jewish life in Denmark than you do, and also a lot more than most Danes know. For unrelated reasons, I also know more than you do about security in Denmark. I also know quite a bit more than some debaters.

It is extremely insulting to me that you speculate that one can conflate the situation of Jews in Denmark with than of Sweden and Norway. In many ways, Scandinavian countries are very similar, but when it comes to the perception of Jews, there is a profound difference, to which I owe my very existence. For the Nazis, it did not matter wether my mother or my father was a Jew. I would never have been born. For those fishermen who saved my mother it didn't matter either. But they are the reason she is here and I am here. You may not acknowledge the assimilation of Jews in this country, and actually, I understand that point of view. Both my great-grandfathers regretted assimilation during the war (though my maternal great-grandfather still loved my atheist gran, his daughter in law). But for my family in general, assimilation meant that we are a family who will defend tolerance and integration to our deaths, some of us Jews, some atheists, and even a few freak Christians (long story, not for this thread).

In Germany, assimilation was no protection from murder. But in Denmark it truly was and it still is. And I can explain exactly why. Some of the reasons are not nice to know. Some of my German great aunts died in the Holocaust. But Denmark is not like Norway or Sweden. At all. Which is why I am depressed that some bad traits are appearing after the terror-attacks, in spite of government messages.

I can see a lot of mefites rolling their eyes here, since you are obviously trolling.

However, I can recognize your fear. I have grown up with it, and I share it. (My favorite song at 9 was Hevenu Shalom) Even being a half-jew, I have heard racial slurs. When I was young, leftists threatened to kill my family and family friends. I do not take this lightly. However, I have learnt from Herbert Pundik, mentioned above. I have learnt to let go of fear, in order to live.

Since I care for Israel, I insist it must be a democracy. And thus I do not acknowledge that Netanyahu can speak on the behalf of all Jews. I do not acknowledge that conservative Jews in Israel can speak on behalf of all Jews. I certainly do not believe that settlers have any legitimacy at all. We may disagree on this, but it is disingenuous to propose that my point of view is antisemitic. I cannot be anti me. And my Jewish heritage is a huge part of me.

In this thread, I have tried to maintain a nuanced image. I've tried to convey how life works here, for different levels of Jewishness. Yes, there is anti-semitism. But no, the level of threat is very very low, much lower than in France, but also much lower than in Germany or in Norway. Yes, some friends are very afraid. But also, some very devote and active friends are not scared at all. It's just not at all simple.

What may be difficult to discern from abroad is that here in Denmark, some people who are anti-semitic and have been so for decades are suddenly changing sides for opportunistic reasons. And they are among the most loud-spoken. Everything is confusing and the truth is hard to find.

One important truth is that I live on top of a hot-bed of Palestinian activism and they are all super polite, protective and respectful of me and my Jewish-named daughters. We disagree, but we are able to live together as neighbors. At the end of the day, we need to be part of the same community.
posted by mumimor at 4:09 PM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh yes. But I understand that Jews aren't adequately protected in Norway or Denmark (or Sweden, for that matter). I think the common cultural history of the Scandinavian countries may have something to do with this: they seem to each have a tendency to disregard or resent minorities' concerns, as if people are less Danish/Swedish/Norwegian to the extent that they identify as a member of an ethnic minority group.

This is a ridiculous generalisation that overlooks heaps of differences in what fuels xenophobia and racism as well as how they manifest and operate mechanically in three different countries with three different histories and populations with very different attitudes to the rest of the world to one another. It is simply not useful or relevant to discuss the issue in question with Scandinavia as a unified reference.
posted by Dysk at 4:25 PM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why do you keep introducing the subject of Israel? It seems a total non sequitor. You objected to one article because it was primarily about Manchester and only secondarily about Copenhagen; another because it is about Norway; why do you keep introducing Israel to this thread?
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:27 PM on March 10, 2015


I have learnt to let go of fear, in order to live.

[...]

In this thread, I have tried to maintain a nuanced image.
posted by mumimor


I respect your history, and think in some ways we actually agree on the state of anti-Semitism in Denmark - but I do also think that your 'nuanced' view is as much subjective experience as objective fact. From what I have read your ability to "let go" is not shared universally in the Danish Jewish community. Not that there is widespread pandemonium - no one is arguing that - but this attack and others like it in Europe have people worried.

And, like Joe, I do find your references to Israel... a little weird. Look, clearly it is hard to avoid mentioning Israel as inevitably it is related, but your references in this thread have been, to me, well beyond reasonable.
posted by rosswald at 7:37 PM on March 10, 2015


Dysk wrote: It is simply not useful or relevant to discuss the issue in question with Scandinavia as a unified reference.

Fine; leave Norway and Sweden out of it; I don't care. So, were you aware of the Danish Jewish community's security measures? Would you have thought that they were reasonable before the attack? How do you feel about them now? And how do you feel about the fact that the Jewish community believes that they are necessary?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:30 PM on March 10, 2015


Mumimor wrote: It is extremely insulting to me that you speculate that one can conflate the situation of Jews in Denmark with than of Sweden and Norway.

I think you ought to be outraged by the fact that so many Danes are anti-Semites; that Danish Jews live in fear of attack; and that your country failed to protect its own citizens. Goodness knows that I've said a lot of stupid stuff in my life, but my response to attacks on women isn't "Oh, but most men aren't like that! And it isn't typical of Australia!"
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:38 PM on March 10, 2015


rosswald wrote: And, like Joe, I do find your references to Israel... a little weird. Look, clearly it is hard to avoid mentioning Israel as inevitably it is related, but your references in this thread have been, to me, well beyond reasonable.

I am referring to Israel because as I perceive it, a large part of the international discussion of safety for Jews in Europe is orchestrated by the Israeli government - such as when Netanyahu participated in the march in Paris and spoke in Paris expressly against the wishes of the French government. The policy has repeated itself here in Denmark, if on a lesser scale, and it has been seen before, as in the story where a Danish journalist visited my area, an area where many devout Jews have lived for generations and still do. I am saying that many of those links you keep on posting are the result of propaganda and do not convey a truthful image.

Joe in Australia wrote: I think you ought to be outraged by the fact that so many Danes are anti-Semites; that Danish Jews live in fear of attack; and that your country failed to protect its own citizens.

A lot of the time I am outraged by anti-semitism, and I act accordingly. Most often, it comes out of ignorance, and people can be educated if you speak up.

I am sad that some people, Jews and non-Jews, live in fear, because they are well-protected. I've written above but I will happily repeat: both the victims of murder were attempting to do police work. The police were there and they protected the civilians, but these two specific civilians wanted to help. That was courageous and I am proud that we have citizens who are ready to stand up to defend us, even though they were not equipped to do so. But their deaths are not an indication that we should be more afraid or that the state has failed. Now, the government has stepped up the security level even more, because such is politics. I wish they had used that money at the level of finding and stopping extremism before guys like this murderer start killing people.
posted by mumimor at 2:33 AM on March 11, 2015


Fine; leave Norway and Sweden out of it; I don't care. So, were you aware of the Danish Jewish community's security measures? Would you have thought that they were reasonable before the attack? How do you feel about them now? And how do you feel about the fact that the Jewish community believes that they are necessary?

What is this, The Third Degree with Joe in Australia? Yes, yes, the same, that sucks, NONE OF WHICH IS STUFF I'VE CONTESTED IN THIS THREAD. You have your argument with mumimor if you want, that's got nought to do with me. If you do start talking like Norway or Sweden or even fucking FRANCE are the same as Denmark and that useful conclusions about the state of affairs in one can be drawn from news stories about the others, I will object however, because THAT is flat out bullshit (much like the assertion that someone of middle eastern origin would be inherently conspicuous in Oslo).
posted by Dysk at 3:49 AM on March 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am saying that many of those links you keep on posting are the result of propaganda and do not convey a truthful image

Statements like this earlier one from you ("However, in France as in Denmark, it is possible to find some Jews who will confirm the Israeli government spin, and journalists fall in hook, sink and line all the time, because somehow this is a good story.") are absolutely disgusting.

Your insistence that stories of rising antisemitism in Europe are largely the result of craven Israeli political manipulation and that you are somehow able to see through propaganda and are countering that with raw unfiltered truth is, again, disgsuting and seems incredibly self centered.

Is the BBC video I linked to with interviews with Danish Jews also "Israeli propaganda"?
posted by rosswald at 4:18 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let me state the obvious. I am here. This is a very small country, with very few Jews.
I see what is going on in public discourse here, and I see which specific people in what specific contexts are saying and doing things.
I know several of the quoted people personally, and I know their personal and political agendas.

You do not.

You read the articles and see the videos with no knowledge whatsoever of the context or the politics involved. I can understand how you see them, and I don't blame you for seeing them that way. I am trying to explain the context and the politics here, and you are blaming me of really gross offences.

Antisemitism in Europe is rising, this is undeniably bad.

There is a neo-nazi dimension, but this is practically inexistent in Denmark, the relevant country in this thread.

The reason for anti-semitism in Denmark is to a huge extent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is also undeniable. Closing your eyes and screaming will not change that fact.

There is no way we can change the views of the anti-semites in Europe if we do not directly address this issue. A lot of people all over Europe are trying to do exactly this. For obvious reasons, some people - of very different persuasions - do not want a discussion of anti-Semitism on this premise. These people find strange allies in their effort to change the subject. I am not saying they are corrupt or lying. I am saying that they have an interest in a particular presentation of reality, which they share with the Israeli government.
Other strange allies for Jews fighting against anti-semitism are the free-speech crusaders, people who have radical views on their right to slander and defame people on the basis of race, religion and gender, and who want to remove the Danish laws against defamation.
You have focused on the Israeli angle - personally I find the free-speech people to be far stranger bed-fellows.
posted by mumimor at 5:36 AM on March 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am trying to explain the context and the politics here, and you are blaming me of really gross offences.

I directly quoted you, and said that your statement was, to me, highly offensive.

You read the articles and see the videos with no knowledge whatsoever of the context or the politics involved.

Unfortunately I can't live everywhere, intimately experience and understand everywhere. All I can do is rely on fairly reputable sources for information about the world at large. BBC, Economist, WSJ all have reported on this subject - and that is just what I found in 5 minutes of Googling while at work. How do you explain these stories? Are these institutions just ignorant of "nuance" and "context," and this is just something only you can provide?

The reason for anti-semitism in Denmark is to a huge extent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is also undeniable. Closing your eyes and screaming will not change that fact.

There is no way we can change the views of the anti-semites in Europe if we do not directly address this issue. A lot of people all over Europe are trying to do exactly this. For obvious reasons, some people - of very different persuasions - do not want a discussion of anti-Semitism on this premise.


I don't think anyone here is denying the role Israel plays in today's anti-Semitism - but I am offended by the premise that the issue that needs to be confronted is Israel and not, you know, the people who shoot-up non-Israeli Jewish institutions in Europe. This is 100% victim blaming, and frankly I don't give a flying fuck what the rationale for some people's anti-Semitism is.
posted by rosswald at 1:00 PM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, Joe in Australia and rosswald.
Because I really understand where you are coming from, and I have many friends like you, I have made an attempt to answer your questions. I have found it challenging, but also relevant to answer those questions. I am actually grateful that you challenged my off-hand descriptions and forced me to be accurate. I learned from that proces. We are all too comfortable in our respective bubbles and often forget to explain why we think and act as we do. I believe it is important to make an effort.
However, at this point, I have to give up.
that is just what I found in 5 minutes of Googling while at work Yes. Exactly.
If you will not acknowledge the information from someone who is sympathetic to and understanding of your point of view, but lives in the actual site of this discussion, I have no idea how we can continue.

You can endlessly post links which confirm your preformed point of view. I can endlessly explain how these links are uninformed and lack context. At the end of the day, none of us are wiser.

As stated before, you are welcome to come visit. You can stay at my home, and I will arrange for you to meet Jews and non-Jews to discuss the current situation. You will be able to experience in person how Denmark is one of the safest places on the globe for Jews.
posted by mumimor at 2:40 PM on March 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


You will be able to experience in person how Denmark is one of the safest places on the globe for Jews.

That statement shows a contemptuous disregard for Danish victims of anti-Semitism. You need to stop spouting your crazy conspiratorial theories and start listening: most Jews live in places where they can "look Jewish", hold political opinions, and go to birthday parties without being killed. That sort of existence is every person's right; it is not available to Denmark's Jews; and the fact that you tolerate this is deplorable.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:13 PM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia wrote: it is not available to Denmark's Jews; and the fact that you tolerate this is deplorable.

This is simply not true.
posted by mumimor at 4:34 PM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Folks, at this point, please stop. You've made your points, this isn't going anywhere, please let it rest.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:43 PM on March 11, 2015 [4 favorites]




We had a FPP about the Norwegian "peace ring" earlier. I haven't read any reports of a similar effort in Sweden.

Anyway, I'm glad that the security situation in Denmark has improved to the point where it will be safe to stand outside a synagogue, with police protection.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:41 PM on March 14, 2015






« Older Latest best seller from François-Marie...   |   What's Wrong With Public Intellectuals? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments